Over the next several days, we will look at all of the possible candidates that could find themselves on the plane to Brazil this summer.
Starting at the back, we begin with the goalkeepers. With a total of 23 players selected in the squad, Roy has the decision to make regarding his shotstoppers.
The candidates are as follows;
The Manchester City goalkeeper would be the goalkeeper of choice for many fans all over the country. Hart has had his fair share of criticisms this season and has endured a spell on the bench behind Costil Pantilimon. However, he has overcome this adversity and has started to look like his former self in recent times. Even though he hasn't had the greatest season by his own high standards, he could end the season with an impressive quartet of trophies to his name and it would take a brave man to exclude him from that 23 man party.
Despite having a hiatus from international football for a substantial period of time, Ben Foster is a quality goalkeeper and has progressed massively since his time at Manchester United. Despite suffering injuries earlier in the season, he has come back and made himself a presence in the West Brom side. Unfortunately, his last league clean sheet dates back to January and West Brom are very much embroiled in the relegation scrap. As harsh as it may seem, his place could well be decided by how West Brom finish their season.
Fraser Forster has had an impressive couple of months. Not only was he awarded the SPFL Player of the Month for January but he then broke Bobby Clarke's 43 year old record for the longest consecutive shut-out in Scotland. Having already played 43 games in all competitions this season he will no doubt have plenty of both match practice and sharpness. He also plays regular Champions League football, which can only be considered as another string to his bow and even though he may not be the first choice of many, England could do a lot worse then the 6"7 man from Celtic.
John Ruddy isn't enduring his best season at present and conceding four goals against Aston Villa at the weekend will be unlikely to enhance his claims for an England place. Despite his tribulations, only Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham have kept more clean sheets then Norwich in the top flight this season which is a positive for Ruddy. Ruddy has recently spoken out about helping to Norwich is his priority, which is both understandable and admirable but with Celtic all but having wrapped up the SPL does this hand the initiative to Forster?
The wildcard entry in this selection but with players like Theo Walcott travelling at 17, stranger things have happened. Jack Butland could well be a future goalkeeper for the England National side and Roy Hodgson may well have him on his radar for this reason. He already has experience representing Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics and although he may not play any match time, including him in the squad may help him in future tournaments psychologically. A better prospect than Ben Amos, does Hodgson take him along to Brazil with one eye firmly on the future?
It is a difficult one, I feel that both Joe Hart and Fraser Forster should be included on merit. As for the remaining one place, it depends on Roy Hodgson's philosophy and how far ahead he is planning.
If taking and preparing a player like Jack Butland now could be the difference in future tournaments then would it really be that much of a risk to include him, knowing full well that he is unlikely to be called upon now to play, while his experience and mentality may be in question?
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