Contrasting fortunes for two England keepers in the second round of Champions League matches means Roy Hodgson has to seriously consider ramping up the competition for the Three Lions’ number one jersey.
Need to mix it up
While Joe Hart struggled against Bayern Munich, Fraser Forster put in a superb shift between the sticks versus Barcelona.
In terms of ability, Hart is the finest stopper available to Hodgson and is a certainty to start in goal should England qualify for the forthcoming World Cup, which they’re currently priced at 28/1 to win with bwin.
However, his lapses in concentration are becoming infamous and the lack of alternatives that essentially guarantees him a start for club and country is to blame; complacency’s favourite breeding ground.
Forster the solution
Plying his trade north of the border, Forster is also subject to a similar situation of a nailed on starting berth, but his consistency is highly commendable and has already showcased two exemplary net-minding performances in this season’s Champions League – the other coming against Milan – after a string of eye-catching efforts last time around.
The SPL is hardly of a standard that can compare to the Premier League, which undoubtedly hampers Forster’s international hopes, but he’s demonstrated his ability on the biggest club stage possible.
Benfica were heavily linked with a move for the former Newcastle keeper last summer and this season could easily be his last in Glasgow.
Stats support it
Such strong showings warrant at least one start in the England net prior to the World Cup, to demonstrate that Hart’s spot is under threat, if nothing else.
In addition to Forster’s form, he also has a clean sheet record to rival Hart’s, keeping a total of 56 teams at bay in the past three campaigns.
He will again deputise for the Manchester City keeper in England’s crucial qualifiers with Montenegro and Poland, but a friendly start for Forster can’t be too far away.