Following a lot of speculation and debate on social media and in the punditry box over the last few weeks about who should replace experienced England keeper Joe Hart at this summer’s World Cup in Russia, Hart has declared that he isn’t ready to hand over his shirt to one of the young hopefuls just yet!
The 30 year old goalkeeper currently on loan at West Ham United is playing it cool and is ready to fight for his place, just like he has done at every stage of his career so far.
“It’s no different to any moment that I’ve been (playing football),”
“Even when I was trying to get into my Sunday League team, it was the same script: people want to play football. That’s no different to the one here. I am not here to answer critics. I am here to play football, enjoy what I do and try and help my team the best way I can.”
Hart certainly has previous experience of overcoming challenges in his career, notably in his battle with Shay Given at Manchester City for the number 1 shirt early on in his career, putting in a number of stunning performances on his way to becoming recognised as an outstanding talent.
England manager Gareth Southgate had previously defended Joe Hart’s position as number 1 but has admitted recently that the number 1 spot is up for grabs after some fantastic displays from Hart’s competition in Butland, Pickford and Pope and some less than re-assured performances from Hart who for a lengthy spell of the season has been kept out of the West Ham side by Adrian.
But Hart is keen to stress that he doesn’t intend to let the criticism or calls for him to be replaced affect him.
“I’m not going to let that ever affect me,”
“The position I’m in if you let confidence dip it’s going to affect you badly.”
“I’m me, I’m going to keep working hard, I’ve worked hard every day of my life and I’ll continue to do that whether I’m playing or not.”
It looks like it could be a big run in for all of the England goalkeepers hopeful of landing the number 1 spot or even just a place in the squad over the final 8 games.