England boss Gareth Southgate insists Joe Hart’s omission from the 23-man World Cup squad does not necessarily signal the end of his international career.
Southgate also revealed that Jack Wilshere’s ‘not effective’ performances for Arsenal towards the end of the season was behind his non-selection.
Hart has 75 caps for the Three Lions but has struggled for form at club level since leaving Manchester City for Torino and then West Ham. Southgate opted to go for form over experience as he selected Everton‘s Jordan Pickford, Stoke’s Jack Butland and Burnley’s Nick Pope as his goalkeeping trio while Tom Heaton is on standby.
Gareth Southgate insists Joe Hart’s England career is not over despite World Cup omission
Hart, who has won 75 caps for his country, was not included as one of three goalkeepers
The England manager admits it was a ‘difficult call’ but he has picked players based on form
‘Of course it was a difficult call,’ Southgate accepted during his media conference on Thursday.
‘He took it very professionally, of course disappointed, as was Ryan Bertrand but both very professional. I know as a player that the disappointment is good to talk through in a few months’ time.
‘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.
Jordan Pickford (left), Jack Butland and Nick Pope (right) have been selected ahead of Hart
Hart has struggled for form at West Ham and been in and out of the side under David Moyes
‘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.’
Asked about Hart’s future prospects, he added: ‘I pick players on form and if he’s 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.’
Arsenal playmaker Jack Wilshere was also omitted from the 23 by Southgate on Wednesday
On Wilshere’s omission, Southgate said: ‘Jack had a good spell in the lead-up until Christmas and just after.
‘(He was) not as effective towards the end of the season and we think the other guys have played very well and deserve their place in the squad.
‘We’ve been really pleased with how the team played in November and March in particular.
‘We think we are heading in a good pathway, pleased with the individuals and the only midfielder we’ve added into that is Fabian Delph, who has had a stunning season with Manchester City.’
Young stars Trent Alexander-Arnold – who Southgate revealed was informed of his place by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp – and Ruben Loftus-Cheek merited inclusion due to their consistent club form while in defence, Southgate has selected Chelsea’s Gary Cahill to add some experience to the ranks.
Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold’s form earned him selection for the squad
Defensively, Southgate has selected Chelsea’s Gary Cahill to add some experience to the side
On the uncapped Alexander-Arnold, Southgate said: ‘He’s shown, in games of real pressure, the personality and the ability to cope with that. He’s had an extended run in a team where the expectation is high. He looks like he’ll be playing in a Champions League final and is a player I know.
‘I went to America with him two or three years ago with our under-17s. He trained with us last month, no problem.
‘There are some other younger players that aren’t quite ready to be with us, but he’s ticked all the criteria we feel we need.’
ENGLAND’S WORLD CUP SQUAD
Jordan Pickford (Everton), Jack Butland (Stoke), Nick Pope (Burnley)
John Stones (Manchester City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham)
Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Fabian Delph (Manchester City)
Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.