How On Earth Has Joe Hart Kept His England Place?
Once upon a time in a land far far away Joe Hart was considered England's number one shot-stopper, and justifiably so.
The here and now.
However, his demise seemed to have begun when Pep Guardiola, in 2016 took the helm at Manchester City. The Catalan almost immediately decided to give Joe the 'heave-ho' - not suitable for his style of play, and that was that. Joe's confidence plummeted while applying his trade, on loan at Torino. By all accounts he had several nightmare Serie A matches.
Following a season in Italy Joe managed to find another Premier League club in West Ham United. Now, I am not a Hammer and don't really follow the relegation threatened club but I hear Joe's loan period has not exactly been enthralling (perhaps someone can fill in the gaps?).
Today, Thursday 15 March Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has named his squad to face the Netherlands in Amsterdam (Friday 23) and Italy at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday 27 March, and in doing so included 30-year-old Hart.
I am not a Hart hater, far from it. But come on. There are other suitable keepers out there who could have taken his place, bearing in mind the two England games are nothing more than friendlies.
Dele Alli - Tottenham Hotspur
Ryan Bertrand - Southampton
Jack Butland - Stoke City
Lewis Cook - AFC Bournemouth
Eric Dier - Tottenham Hotspur
Joe Gomez - Liverpool
Joe Hart - West Ham United (loan from Manchester City)
Jordan Henderson - Liverpool
Adam Lallana - Liverpool
Jesse Lingard - Manchester United
Jake Livermore - West Bromwich Albion
Harry Maguire - Leicester City
Alfie Mawson - Swansea City
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - Liverpool
Jordan Pickford - Everton
Nick Pope - Burnley
Marcus Rashford - Manchester United
Danny Rose - Tottenham Hotspur
Raheem Sterling - Manchester City
John Stones - Manchester City
James Tarkowski - Burnley
Kieran Trippier - Tottenham Hotspur
Jamie Vardy - Leicester City
Kyle Walker - Manchester City
Danny Welbeck - Arsenal
Jack Wilshere - Arsenal
Ashley Young - Manchester United
By the way, Hart becomes a free agent in May of this year.
Will Joe play in any of the up and coming England games and if he does, should I consider, given the chance, try and kick Southgate's backside.