Joe Hart Still Has a Role to Play With England Despite West Ham Difficulties

Despite a disappointing year for the Hammers in the Premier League, there is every chance that David Moyes’ squad will be represented in Gareth Southgate’s England set-up this summer, with Joe Hart pushing for a place on the plane.

The on-loan Manchester City goalkeeper was once a certainty to start in goal for England, but since losing his place at the Etihad Stadium following Pep Guardiola’s arrival, Hart has found it an uphill battle trying to regain the number one jersey.

Joe Hart

Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Stoke City’s Jack Butland look like they will be battling it out for a starting berth when England enter the group stage of the World Cup. There is an almighty scramble to be on the plane to Russia as third choice, with Hart the obvious candidate for a number of reasons, despite an indifferent loan spell with the Hammers. Hart’s loan move to West Ham last summer was supposed to help him snatch the gloves back on the international stage, but ultimately his form hasn’t helped his cause. The 31-year-old lost his place in the starting XI to Adrian over the festive period, and although he has regained his place in Moyes’ side and produced some impressive performances of late, it isn’t going to be enough to force his way back into Southgate’s starting XI plans for Russia.

Pickford and Butland have enjoyed impressive campaigns, and rightly deserve to be battling for the No.1 jersey, but Hart’s role is still going to be key within the squad. Should he feature in Southgate’s squad, it will be the third time Hart has jetted off to the World Cup, with the goalkeeper featuring in Fabio Capello’s 2010 squad and Roy Hodgson’s 2014 squad.

Jack Stoke

Of course, neither of those campaigns were deemed a success, but the experience has been vital to Hart. England are not well fancied to better their 2010 or 2014 efforts later this year, with the international football betting markets pricing Southgate’s side at 18/1 to end a 52-year wait for international success.

Those prices show the little amount of pressure on England heading to the World Cup, which also means that there is little pressure on players such as Pickford and Butland, who will be making their debuts at a major tournament. However, Hart could be influential in guiding his teammates through the tournament, which will undoubtedly bring some criticism.

It might’ve been a poor year for Hart at West Ham, where he hasn’t managed to fully rediscover his best, but his form has still been good enough to put him in contention for a place in Southgate’s squad.

Jordan Pickford

It will not be the first time that Hart has jetted off to a World Cup as a potential third choice, as his role in 2010 was limited, with the goalkeeper the youngest member of Capello’s squad.

This time around, Hart would be one of England’s most experienced players, who might not have an opportunity to play, but certainly has an opportunity to show his quality as a professional and put a difficult year at club level behind hi

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