Ex-Wales and Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall has slammed recent criticism of Manchester City shot-stopper Joe Hart.
Southall earned 92 caps for his country, as well as chalking up 578 appearances for Everton and he believes that, while Hart is not the best in Europe at the moment, he can go on to achieve great things in his burgeoning career.
Hart has come under fire for several high-profile errors lately, including the decision to rush off his line that led to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s fourth goal against England, but Southall has dismissed suggestions the City man is off form.
“I just think it’s a load of pants, really. If you look at him, he’s the most improved goalkeeper I’ve seen for a long, long time,” Southall told Goal.com.
“He’s gone in there and now he’s let in a couple of goals that people think he should not have let in. That was always going to happen.”
Southall is also of the belief that, as long as Hart is eager to learn, he will be able to complete the long-term transition into becoming a world-class goalkeeper with time.
“Best in Europe? Not at the moment because he’s still a bit young,” he said.
“He hasn’t learnt what he needs to learn and that takes time, I’m sure he’s learning his craft every day.
“In time, if he carries on going the way he is, he’s going to be one of the best in the world. He’s probably already in the top 20 at the moment.
“Now he’s just got to work himself up to the number one position. I’m sure that’s his aim and his ambition.”