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Joe Hart’s calamitous Euro 2016 campaign blows race wide open for the England No.1 jersey

Joe Hart England Euro 2016 Iceland

Manchester City’s Joe Hart faces a tough task to hold onto his starting place in the England national team.

England and Manchester City’s under-fire goalkeeper Joe Hart has been spoken about by his new club manager Pep Guardiola and Stoke City shot-stopper Jack Butland.

After miserable form during the European Championships, Guardiola warned that Hart needs to cut out such errors for City next season, while Butland admits his chances of ousting the 29-year-old are greater following the Euros.

Stiff competition between England’s goalkeepers

It’s been a long time since England could boast such top-level goalkeepers all vying for one spot, and it puts real pressure on Joe Hart to perform. Southampton’s Fraser Forster and Stoke City’s Jack Butland are deemed the no.2 and no.3 respectively in the pecking order, and are now likely to be given a chance to impress in the World Cup qualifiers under the new manager.

England’s World Cup qualifying campaign should be a straight-forward affair with the likes of Slovakia, Scotland, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta, and in truth could perhaps fare just as well without Hart. There are enough fixtures for the Three Lions to test out different styles and personnel, and with a strong defence ahead of the goalkeeper, Forster and Butland deserve game time.

How did Hart fare at Euro 2016?

It’s not been the best season for Joe Hart for club and country, and his antics at Euro 2016 will leave him at his lowest ebb. The experienced shot-stopper England’s Joe Hart made three errors in the Euros that led to goal, which were all the more highlighted in the media as the Three Lions didn’t concede too many shots in the tournament.

In England’s first Group B game against Russia, Hart was caught in no man’s land following a headed effort from defender Vasili Berezutski. Had he dropped onto his line, he’d collect the ball in the air. England were 1-0 up at the time, but dropped two points as a result of the injury-time equaliser conceded.

In England’s second group game against Wales, Gareth Bale scored past the Three Lions with a free-kick that saw Hart tip the ball into the back of his net. It seemed a straightforward effort to palm round the post, but somewhat the Man City man failed to keep it out. England did win the game, but left it late to turn the game around.

England’s last game of the tournament – last-16 clash against Iceland – Hart made an error that cost his side the match. With the score level, a tame effort into the bottom corner squirm under the 29-year-old and dribbled into the back of the net.

It was a bad tournament for Hart, and many former England ‘keepers will note how little tolerance they were afforded for making errors so Hart could be walking the tightrope.

Fri 8 Jul, 2016
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