Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Take Heart from Joe's Emergence

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Take Heart from Joe's Emergence

Article excerpt

IN recent times, at moments of heightened national expectation, we have come to expect gaffes and howlers from England goalkeepers.

Think of Scott Carson, in his competitive debut against Croatia on a rainy night at Wembley, letting an innocuous long-range shot dribble through his arms. Think, too, of the hapless Robert Green doing something similar against the USA in Rustenburg, establishing the pattern for the whole of the disastrous World Cup campaign to follow.

Green was promptly dropped, replaced, of course, by a 39-year-old goalkeeper whose nickname, "Calamity", tells us all we ever needed to know about his reliability.

He should have been replaced by Joe Hart, who, after an excellent season on loan at Birmingham, was obviously then the most promising goalkeeper in England but perhaps still too young for the cautious Fabio Capello.

This season, Hart, now first choice both at Manchester City and for England, has begun to confirm that he is more than simply promising: he's potentially the best goalkeeper England have produced since Peter Shilton. …

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