Hart must improve West Ham form to save England career
COMMENT By George Brooks
West Ham goalkeeper Joe Hart must improve his club form if he is to maintain his place in the England side.
The 30-year-old has been named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the friendly matches against Germany and Brazil at Wembley this month.
Hart is one of three goalkeepers to have been named in the 25-man squad, as England begin their preparations for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Stoke City’s Jack Butland are the other two, but Hart also has Southampton’s Frasier Forster and Burnley’s Tom Heaton fighting for Southgate’s attention.
How he performs for West Ham is key to him maintaining his place in the England starting XI, but his form so far this season has been inconsistent.
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He has kept three clean sheets, but has conceded three or more goals in a single Premier League game four times this season.
Hart, who is on loan at the London Stadium from Manchester City, is hoping to surpass David Seaman as England’s second most-capped goalkeeper this international break.
He has started 46 of The Three Lions’ last 49 competitive internationals and has 74 caps for his country, one fewer than Seaman.
He is also hoping to represent England at his fifth major tournament in Russia next summer.
In the more immediate future, Hart must focus on Liverpool’s visit to the London Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday.
In other West Ham news, boss Slavan Bilic is facing a defensive crisis ahead of the Premier League clash.