Mark Schwarzer has once again leapt to the defence of his goalkeeper union friends to deflect criticism from the ‘know nothing’ critics.
The 45 year old ex Fulham and Middlesbrough goalkeeper had previously taken great offence to the scathing criticism that Liverpool goalkeeper Mignolet had come under in the last 12 months after a number of less than exemplary performances from former professional footballers and pundits.
“Goalkeepers are easy to blame. It is simple to point the finger at the last line of defence, even for former professionals who are now pundits.”
“I am happy for people to be critical, to give an opinion — I do it myself on TV and radio — but more often than not I find the assessments of goalkeeping, a specialist position, are cheap throw-aways or inaccurate.”
This time however he has come rushing to the defence of England and West Ham goalkeeper Joe Hart, who’s mistake led to Burnley’s 3rd goal in their 3-0 win over the Hammers last weekend.
The game was completely over-shadowed by a number of off the field incidents including pitch invasions and fighting in the stands which at one point got so bad Burnley substitutes offered up their seats on the bench to young children to ensure their safety and Schwarzer believes that these off field issues were the cause of Hart’s error.
“There was a mistake for the third goal, but I think the circumstances had a lot to do with that with the fans coming on to the pitch, not just for Joe but for all the players.”
Despite the error and Hart’s stuttering season since joining the Hammers, Schwarzer believes that Joe Hart will still be part of England’s World Cup squad, even if he doesn’t go to the tournament as the countries number 1 just for his experience alone which is clearly an issue for England in the goalkeeping department.
Whilst Hart might not be in form right now, his England experience boasts 75 caps, with Butland and Forster the most experienced options after him who can only boast 6 each infact – the 3 other keepers who made Southgates squad alongside Hart for the upcoming internationals – Butland, Pickford and Pope have a grand total of 7 senior caps between them.
Time will tell who will represent England at this summer’s World Cup in Russia.