Date:Sunday June 20 2010
Joe Hart must be wondering what he has to do to become Manchester City and England number one goalkeeper.
Shrewsbury born Hart left his home club to join the ranks at Manchester City in 2006 having already featured in the England U-19 set up. Before long he was promoted to the Under-21 side by Stuart Pearce for Euro 2007 and later made the final 23, albeit Scott Carson ended up playing in all of England's four fixtures.
Hart was recalled to the U-21s and was first choice at the Euro 2009 finals. He started in the first two group stage matches and was rested for the last match as England had already sealed its passage to the knock-out stage. In the semi-final against Sweden, he conceded three goals in the second half as the match ended 3-3 after extra time but he made up for it by saving a penalty and scoring another as England won 5-4 on penalties. However he was suspended for the final after being controversially yellow-carded for leaving his line to talk to Mikael Lustig as the Swede stepped up to take the penalty.
Joe made the England senior team in 2008 but only flirted with the odd appearance here and there until 2010 when Capello named Joe, alongside Robert Green and David James in his 23-man World Cup squad.
The 6'3 shot-stopper missed out on England's opening game against the USA and following Robert Green's howler the Portsmouth keeper regained the number one jersey for the game against Algeria.
The Algeria fiasco saw Hart and Green sat on the bench and now with the final group phase game against Slovenia on Wednesday afternoon Capello will no doubt choose James as his preferred option.
Since moving from Shrewsbury Town the 23-year-old has yet again flirted with the number one jersey (loans at Tranmere and Blackpool) however, since Shay Given's arrival from Newcastle in January 2009 Joe ended up having to apply his trade at Birmingham City and in doing so finished off the season long loan as being named as the best keeper in the Premier League.
Joe's City contract expires in 2013 but with the Republic of Ireland's number one, Shay Given expected to be fit for the start of the 2010/11 campaign I wonder if Joe will concede defeat and move away from Eastlands?
I for one want Joe Hart to stay at MCFC and fight for his place. I think, no, I believe Hart will eventually knock Given into second place and in doing so end up as England's number one.
In the end Joe must be wondering what he has to do to become Manchester City and England's number one.
Date:Sunday June 20 2010
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