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Gareth Southgate.

England fans blast Gareth Southgate on Twitter after he reveals No. 1 for 2018 World Cup

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England fans were given the mildest hope they won't have prematurely broken hearts next summer after the groups for the 2018 World Cup were drawn on Friday.

The Three Lions have been drawn against Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in what must be viewed as one of the better groups they could have hoped for.

Having said that, a lot of England fans don't need long memories to recall Iceland knocking them out of Euro 2016 and Costa Rica progressing ahead of them at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Still, England progressed to the World Cup with an unbeaten record in qualifying and the best defensive record in Europe.

With six months until manager Gareth Southgate has to pick his 23-man squad for the finals in Russia, there's plenty of time for players to make a case to make the plane.

One position that has seemed far from certain recently is England's goalkeeper.

The Three Lions have an embarrassment of riches for the No. 1 jersey since the rise of Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford, so will either man usurp Joe Hart?

"We had the best defensive record in Europe," Southgate said following the draw. "We have also come off the back of two nil-nils against Brazil and Germany so in terms of our defence and our goalkeepers they have had as good performances as anybody in Europe up to this point.

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"Equally we know there is great competition for places. Three types of goalkeeper in as many ways - in terms of their experiences and styles. Plus we have the likes of Fraser Forster and Tom Heaton, who is out injured, and there are other young goalkeepers coming through.

"You are never settled as a coach. You are always looking at who is in form and we are still six months to the finals so it is great not only in goal but other position on the pitch we have got great competition.

"If we play tomorrow, I think Joe Hart would be our number one. I said that before the last game and he had a very good performance against Brazil. Equally, as I keep having to say to him, we are six months away and he has got to maintain form and make sure [of that] in the lead up to the World Cup."

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Hart has shipped 30 goals in 14 Premier League games for West Ham and Hammers fans have called for old custodian Adrian to replace him in the sticks.

Likewise, Twitter users were not happy with Southgate's declaration that Hart is England's number one. Take a look at the tweets below:

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Topics:
Football
Joe Hart
World Cup

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