Hart will be our Gordon Banks! - HodgsonPublish piece of news
Hart will be our Gordon Banks! - Hodgson
Lining up a putt on the golf course last week, Steven Gerrard suddenly stopped to share something that had happened earlier in the day. 'You should have seen Joe Hart in training,' said England's captain. 'He just makes world class saves, jumps back to his feet and prepares for the next shot like nothing has happened. The rest of us are just looking at him, like what the hell was that? But it’s just normal to him. Amazing.'
Hart is terrific, and one of Fabio Capello's regrets must be that he did not take a gamble with the then 23-year-old and hand him his fourth cap in the opening game of the 2010 World Cup against the USA.
The Italian manager started the tournament with Robert Green and finished it with David James, when nobody would argue now that the most gifted of the three keepers England took to South Africa watched from the bench, a little bruised that the goalkeeping coach did not even know his name.
Two years on and Hart is not only an English champion but the finest goalkeeper England have had since David Seaman at his peak in Euro 96.
Identifying Seaman's replacement after the 2002 World Cup, which marked a fourth consecutive tournament for old 'Safe Hands', was not easy. At Euro 2004, James was Sven Goran Eriksson's first choice. At the World Cup in 2006 Paul Robinson had the job.
The disastrous qualification campaign for Euro 2008 ended with Scott Carson in possession of the No 1 jersey and, by the start of the 2010 World Cup, Green was in the role. Not that Capello selected Green with any great confidence. He agonised over the selection and left it until the very last minute, concerned that Green was a conservative choice when faced with one goalkeeper he feared was a bit too old and another who was a bit too young. Roy Hodgson has no such worries this time.
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