Joe Hart has a lot of promise and potential and has a big future on the international scene. He has excelled at Birmingham this season, helping the club reach eighth in the Premiership, after falling out of favour last season at Manchester City due to the arrival of Shay Given.
Regarding England, the situation is less clear. In a few years Hart will undoubtedly be in the mix to be England’s first choice keeper, but right now he lacks the experience at international level to be first choice. Robert Green was chosen against Egypt, and Hart is competing with David James, Ben Foster and Green for a spot on the plane to South Africa.
If we look at the stats this season, then Hart comes out favourably: in 26 games, he has made 96 saves and kept 9 clean sheets. Green has started 27 games, also made 96 saves, but has only kept 7 clean sheets. James has played in 18 games, made 49 saves and kept just 3 clean sheets (which is much lower, but if you consider how bad Pompey have been this season it is easy to see why). Finally, Ben Foster has barely played for Man United, playing in 7 games and keeping 4 clean sheets.
I believe Hart will make the squad for the World Cup, but will be the third choice keeper behind James and Green. But this undoubtedly will be James’ last World Cup, (at 39 he cannot carry on forever), and then the Birmingham stopper will have a real chance to stake his claim for the number 1 spot.
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