5 goalkeepers ready to take over from Joe Hart

When Manchester City won their first title since 1968 two seasons ago, Joe Hart was a pivotal member of the squad. Some of his performances that season were outstanding, easily the best goalkeeper in the league.

And yet last season and the start of this season have been less than impressive.  High profile mistakes in City games and England games as well, most recently against Bayern Munich, have led to some calls that the former Shrewsbury keeper should be dropped. Roy Hodgson and Manuel Pellegrini have been quick to reinforce that Hart is still the number one but who is ready to take over the England mantel?

The Main Two Candidates:

Fraser Forster

The Celtic man is a player who everyone has been talking about for a couple of seasons now. His performances for Celtic in the Champions League has shown everyone that, despite the lack of competition that Celtic face in their own country, Forster still has the ability to keep out some of the world’s top strikers. He was instrumental in Celtic’s victory over Barcelona in last year’s competition and was also top class against them last week.

He has been included in four squads but hasn’t made a single appearance, even in the friendly against Sweden. Historically players in Scotland have struggled to make the England squad. Alan Thompson was a stand-out performer for several years at Celtic but made earned just one cap. Most recently Gary Hooper, who is now at Norwich, was often banging in the goals for Celtic but couldn’t win a call-up either. If it is because he’s playing in Scotland then he may not have to worry much longer with Barcelona reportedly looking at him as a replacement for Victor Valdes. Maybe then will he be seen as proper competition for Hart.

John Ruddy

John Ruddy is seen as the number two to Hart and has performed very well this season. In six games he has conceded as many goals as well as keeping two clean sheets. He has also successfully claimed 18 balls that he has come for making him a very commanding keeper to have behind you. His punching can be a bit suspect and he has only made 33% of punches he has come for but he has proven himself to be a very good shot stopper.

But if Forster isn’t being picked because he is at Celtic then Ruddy may be getting the same treatment. Hart is at City but Ruddy is only at Norwich, a team not even in Europe. He has only made one appearance for England back in August of 2012, where he made several key saves in a 2-1 victory over Italy, but has since been unable to break Hart’s stranglehold on the England jersey. But it would seem that Ruddy would be first in line if Hart was to be dropped.

Other keepers in the frame:

Scott Carson

Scott Carson has recently moved back to England to help Wigan return to the Premier League. Owen Coyle has recently said that he believes that Carson can make a return to the squad. It seems a little unlikely with Ruddy, Forster, Hart and Foster ahead of him but injuries may give him a chance.

Ben Foster

Ben Foster almost committed international suicide when in 2011 he said that he didn’t want to be considered for England if he wasn’t number one. He changed his mind this year but an injury at the start of this season has kept him out of the squads. His foot injury put him out for three months so he is not expected back until next month at the earliest. He will be hoping that some good performances will put him in contention for a world cup spot, if England make it of course.

Jack Butland

Jack Butland was the first choice keeper at the Olympics and on the back of those performances he made a move to Stoke. But unfortunately he has been kept on the side-lines by Asmir Begovic and this season he has moved on loan to Barnsley on a three month. Chelsea were also after him but he believed that Stoke would be able to offer him more first team football. So far he hasn’t been able to get that but he has the potential to become one of the top goalkeepers in England.