Southgate set to leave Hart out of England squad
By FootballBossess reporters
The first bold call ahead of Gareth Southgate’s squad announcement tomorrow has been reported, with Joe Hart being informed that he has missed the cut. The 31 year old goalkeeper has been capped 75 times for England, being number one for the majority of Southgate’s tenure. However, Hart has struggled for form on loan at West Ham this season, with mistakes creeping into his game more prominently.
What has made it even more difficult for Hart is the form of young England keepers, such as Nick Pope and Jordan Pickford. Pickford looks set to be Southgate’s first choice this summer, having won Everton’s player of the season in his first season with the Toffees. Furthermore, Pope has been one of most unexpected, outstanding performers of the season. He became first choice after an unfortunate injury to another England international, Tom Heaton, at the start of the season. Pope has taken his opportunity, helping Burnley gain a place in Europe next season with 11 clean sheets. The final goalkeeper in Southgate’s 23 will presumably be Jack Butland, who has been solid despite relegation for Stoke this season. Having missed Euro 2016 through injury, Butland has continued to improve and impress as a keeper.
There is therefore no room for Hart, yet it is still a bold call for Southgate to make. The squad looks likely to lack experience at a major tournament; something Hart has in abundance. With Hart’s omission, it seems that none of those travelling to Russia will have over 50 caps for England (unless Gary Cahill is included). Amongst the goalkeepers mentioned, they have just 9 caps between them, with Pope uncapped. Experience isn’t everything, and Southgate has chosen to go with youth, an option many have called for in past tournaments.
Southgate is set to announce his full squad tomorrow, with rumours circulating around who will and won’t be there. Jack Wilshire seems likely to not make the final squad; while Fabian Delph may be included after an excellent season at left back for Manchester City. There will be further notable absences when the squad is confirmed, with Southgate’s inexperienced side facing Tunsia in just over a month’s time.
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