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Joe Hart will miss a major tournament for the first time since making his England debut in 2008
By talkSPORT – @talkSPORT
Thursday, May 17, 2018
England manager Gareth Southgate admits it was a ‘difficult call’ to leave out Joe Hart for his World Cup squad, but insists the 75-cap goalkeeper’s Three Lions future is NOT over.
Hart failed to make the cut for Southgate’s 23-man squad and was not named on the standby list either after a frustrating season on loan at West Ham.
Everton’s Jordan Pickford, Stoke City’s Jack Butland and Burnley’s Nick Pope are the three glovesmen heading to Russia this summer.
The England boss has confirmed it was his decision to snub Hart and suggested it would not be appropriate to ask the former No.1 to act as back-up, with Burnley’s Tom Heaton taking that role.
The door remains open to a future call-up, though, assuming Hart finds a new club in the summer and gets back to top form in between the sticks after two difficult seasons.
“Of course it was a difficult call,” Southgate said in a press conference on Thursday.
“He played in most of our qualifying matches, he’s been a big part of the England team the last few years and he’s a valued member of the squad.
“But in the end I’ve got to look at performances over the last 18 months with their clubs and the three lads we picked were the three best goalkeepers in the league this year.
“I pick players on form and if he [Hart] is playing well for his club, why wouldn’t we select him?
“There’s no reason for this to be the end. He has an important career decision this summer and I hope he can be back at his very best.”