Thursday, 27 January 2011

Hart told to maintain focus

It was always going to be a matter of time before people were going to start asking questions about whether Joe Hart should be England's first choice number one. The Manchester City stopper is going through the first bad patch in his short career and the 23-year-old has come in for some criticism. It seems a touch unfair to have a go at Hart after his stunning early season form but Fabio Capello has felt the need to come out to warn his keeper about the importance of focusing on consistency.

"He has made mistakes but, also, he is young. I think it is important for him to understand that he has to be focused in every moment of the game," he said.

Although Hart was clearly to blame for Andy King's equaliser in City's FA Cup tie with Leicester, to cast him as culpable for Darren Bent's debut winner for Villa last week is way off the mark. Hart pulled off a smart save from Ashley Young's curling effort and it was only down to the slowness of his defenders reactions that allowed Bent to snap up the loose ball. The football odds suggested City should have won that game, but it's not Hart's fault they didn't.

Beside the fact that England need to show their goalkeeper some belief and backing, there isn't an obvious choice for who would replace Hart. Ben Foster has had his own form issues this season and isn't in the best form for Birmingham. Rob Green is doing all he can for West Ham but he is still the keeper of a side bottom of the league and one the football betting tips indicate will be relegated.

The unfortunate thing is that the Premier League's form keeper is Paul Robinson, but the Blackburn number one has hung up his international gloves and is steadfast in his decision to focus on his club career. All that means, rather than trying to question Hart's ability to handle being England's number one, they should focus on backing the man that has more than enough potential to be one of the world's best goalkeepers. If Peter Shilton can amass 100 plus caps then Joe Hart can certainly establish a legacy as England's best ever keeper.