With England’s first World Cup game against Tunisia fast approaching, there is still no outstanding candidate to be Gareth Southgate’s starting goalkeeper in Russia, we look at four players who could potentially take up this position.
Having been the England Number 1 since the 2010 World Cup, Hart has been established member of the England team playing in all but one of England’s qualifying games for the 2018 World Cup. However, since the appointment of Pep Guardiola at Man City, Hart’s form has been somewhat inconsistent since falling out of favour at and moving on loan to West Ham. Hart’s performances at West Ham have been disappointing to say the least, making several high-profile mistakes most recently against Stoke causing him to be dropped in place of West Ham’s Spanish shot stopper Adrian, putting him in a very weak position to even make the squad for the World Cup.
The Everton shot stopper has had a decent season with the club, with his distribution particularly standing out, in a recent performance for England against Holland former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton said “Pickford oozes confidence and his distribution is excellent”. It is obvious Pickford is the candidate who is most comfortable with the ball at his feet, which is a modern part of being a goalkeeper, however his lack of games and tournament experience for England could be an issue if he were to be Southgate’s Number 1.
A rose among the thorns would be a good description of Jack Butland at Stoke this season, with the Bristolian certainly having a busy season, which lead to Stoke unfortunately being relegated last week. Butland is likely to leave Stoke in the summer transfer window, potentially taking his game to the next level, but with him being inconsistent this year and making the odd mistake most memorably a howler against Leicester City. Furthermore, it is fair to say Butland’s England career has been riddled with injuries, but with the 25-Year-Old being the fans favourite for the jersey it could see him starting in Russia.
The Burnley shot stopper has been in wonderful form for the club this season, helping them rise to a staggering 7th position. Pope’s saves this season have been nothing but scintillating but having only made one appearance for the three lions it is hard to say whether this inexperience will be a good or bad thing for the 26-year-old. Pope is clearly up for the fight for the number 1 spot saying in a recent interview with Sky Sports “it is “every man for himself” suggesting he wants to be Southgate’s first choice shot stopper. Pope’s good form has kept Tom Heaton on the bench and out of the England setup, which is unfortunate as the Chester born keeper would have most likely been in Southgate’s squad for the World Cup this year.
Who should be England’s number one? Let us know in the comments below!
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