Andy Carroll saved Hart’s blushes with a stoppage-time equaliser but it was not enough for Hart to avoid heavy criticism.
So who should start the tournament as No 1 and which three goalkeepers should go? Sportsmail’s reporters have their say…
Joe Hart had a moment to forget against Stoke as his blunder led to Peter Crouch’s opener
ROB DRAPER (NO 1: BUTLAND, BACK-UPS: PICKFORD, HART)
I’d like to say Pickford, Butland, Pope but they have a combined cap count of nine. So Hart, 75 caps, has to go. That said, his propensity for significant errors showed with England before it started infecting club form. To start with him would be a resignation to more of the same. I’m not overwhelmed with confidence in his colleagues but would go with Butland.
SAMI MOKBEL (NO 1: PICKFORD, BACK-UPS: BUTLAND, HART)
Pickford should be No 1. His inexperience is hardly ideal, but starting at the World Cup will certainly leave England in good stead for the future. Gareth Southgate’s philosophy of keeping possession and playing out from the defence is clear. Pickford’s ability with the ball at his feet gives Southgate the best platform for his team to play the way he wants.
Butland is a shoo-in despite his difficult domestic season. Hart’s fall from grace over the past 12 months has been alarming. But he still has to be included in the squad. While he won’t be playing, Hart’s tournament experience will be invaluable for Southgate and his young squad.
Jack Butland (left) and Hart will be battling it out to start as England’s No 1 this summer
CHRIS WHEELER (No 1: BUTLAND, BACK-UPS: HART, PICKFORD)
Butland seems to be the most secure and settled option, certainly compared to Hart whose career and form have been on the slide for some time.
I wouldn’t look beyond those two to be England’s No 1 for the World Cup given the relative inexperience of Pope and Pickford.
I still think Hart needs to be there as back-up for Butland in case of injury or loss of form.
It’s a close call for third in the absence of Tom Heaton, but Pickford gets the nod over Pope due to his extensive experience of tournament football as an England international through the age-groups.
Pope has been outstanding as Heaton’s replacement at Burnley this season, but this World Cup has come a little too soon for him.
DOMINIC KING (NO 1: PICKFORD, BACK-UPS: BUTLAND, HART)
As much as I admire Butland, Pickford is the man in form at present. People talk about his age and lack of experience but Pickford is single-minded and doesn’t let the occasion bother him. He’s been arguably Everton’s player of the season, the shining light of their recruitment policy: he is excellent with the ball at his feet and prolific in stopping penalties. Gareth Southgate has long been aware of his qualities.
Butland’s place on the plane to Russia isn’t in doubt and, for all the issues he has had, I would still take Hart. He’s got huge experience and that can’t be dismissed.
MIKE KEEGAN (NO 1: PICKFORD, BACK-UPS: POPE, BUTLAND)
Pickford, just. I am not convinced he has the physicality to command his box or is as commanding as needed on crosses but hopefully that will come with experience. His distribution, shot-stopping ability and the lack of a standout candidate give him the nod.
The back-ups should be Pope and Butland. It is very sad that it has come to this, because Hart has been a wonderful keeper and I really hope he can get back to his best, but there can be no denying his loss of form. I would put Pope ahead of Butland based on what I have seen of both this season.
Burnley keeper Nick Pope has impressed after deputising for the injured Tom Heaton
JACK GAUGHAN (NO 1: PICKFORD, BACK-UPS: BUTLAND, POPE)
Pickford looks the steadiest bet to be No 1 really, although that is more down to the form of others than his own.
Pope’s performances at Burnley warrant inclusion, particularly given Hart’s inconsistencies over the last two seasons.
ADAM CRAFTON (NO 1: PICKFORD, BACK-UPS BUTLAND, POPE)
Pickford should start.
Hart should not be on the plane, never mind in the goal. Pickford will make mistakes, he is a young goalkeeper and that’s the reality of life for young goalkeepers. But his potential is enormous and in lieu of an experienced goalkeeper that offers comfort and guarantees, we should allow Pickford to grow into the jersey on the biggest stage. Butland and Pope should be the back-ups.
Jordan Pickford has been Everton’s standout players during a below-par season for the club
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.