Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughEnglish goalkeeping on a high - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough English goalkeeping on a high - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

English goalkeeping on a high

Over the past two years, Manchester City keeper Joe Hart has earned a reputation as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. 

Although comparisons with the likes of Gigi Buffon may still be slightly premature, Hart is sure to be pushed all the way at International level by a wave of both emerging and resurrecting keepers.

West Brom keeper Ben Foster has recently re-flung his hat into the England ring, having previously retired from International football when the national team was under the stewardship of Fabio Capello.  Foster has enjoyed a second consecutive fine season with the baggies, playing a major role in Steve Clarke’s men’s early emergence in the Champions League positions.

North of the boarder, Celtic number 1 Fraser Forster has made the step up to star on the big stage this season, turning in a man of the match performance in the hoops historic 2-1 home vectory over Barcelona at Celtic Park in the Champions League.  Forster is yet to make his England debut, but has been called into two of Roy Hodgson’s squads to date.

Norwich’s John Ruddy was perhaps surprisingly called into England’s squad for Euro 2012 before being ruled out of the tournament with a broken finger.  Ruddy’s call up came as no suprise to the Norwich fans who have seen the consistently dependable performances from the ex Everton stopper.

Perhaps the most long term challenger to Hart is going to be Jack Butland.  Butland benefitted from the injury to Ruddy to take his place in England’s Euro 2012 squad at the age of just 19.  Butland has enjoyed a whirlwind past 12 months which has seen him represent Team GB at London 2012, become arguably the best goalkeeper outside of the Premier League with Birmingham before his January move to Stoke City, a deal which included a loan back to Birmingham for the remainder of the season and making his full England debut against Italy in Berne.

Not only are all of these keepers showing the ability to push Joe Hart for the number one shirt, they are all still relatively young for a goalkeeper, with Foster the oldest at just 29.  These keepers are all set to get better as they get older, and that can only be a good thing for English goalkeeping.

Aaron Sharp