A Chance To Shine
If ever Jack Butland needed the incentive to shine, the time is now!
Not only could he not get a look-in at Stoke, he was not even able to play any football for most of the opening period of the season - eventually a loan move to Barnsley in the championship was agreed and this brought him some 1st football at last.
I am not one of those that thinks 'championship players should not play for England', but with all due respect to Barnsley a side struggling at the bottom of that league is hardly going to be a side that England scouts will be flocking to see...
The misfortune of others could prove to be to the fortune of Butland though as injuries to both Asmir Begovic and Thomas Sorensen have finally brought him his chance at Stoke.
It will be down to him to now take it!
He is determined to force his way back into the England set-up and wants to go to the world cup, saying: 'that's always been my focus. Having tasted the England set-up before, I know what it's like, it's the greatest feeling ever to play for your country.
'I'm focused on getting back into that squad, and if I was to make the World Cup it'd be a target achieved.'
Butland has already gone to a major tournament with England when Roy Hodgson took him to Euro 2012, but since becoming the youngest goalie to make an appearance for England, in August 2012, he has slipped out of the reckoning.
To stand any chance of getting back into the squad he had to play, in fairness with Begovic in particular ahead of him I can understand why he could not dislodge him as he is an exceptional goalie.
I still think that Butland will find it hard to dislodge the likes of Fraser Forster, Ben Foster and John Ruddy, who are all likely to be ahead of him in the selection process, with them all behind Joe Hart of course who has returned to the Man City starting XI, and in some form too.
If nothing else the goalkeeping competition for England over the second half of the season should be superb, which is exactly what we want with many often criticising how weak this area has been in recent years - not now methinks...
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