‘Joe Hart needs to be dropped’ – Former England captain Terry Butcher calls for Jack Butland over Manchester City outcast
Gareth Southgate has kept faith with a man frozen out by Pep Guardiola, but calls for him to be dropped have grown in intensity after Scotland draw
Manchester City outcast Joe Hart should be dropped by England and replaced by Jack Butland, says former captain Terry Butcher.
The 30-year-old has been first-choice for his country for a number of years, with regular game time in the Premier League aiding his cause.
Hart was, however, deemed surplus to requirements at City shortly after Pep Guardiola’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium and spent the 2016-17 campaign on loan at Serie A side Torino.
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That move came on the back of a forgettable showing at Euro 2016 and, after conceding two free-kicks to Scotland in England’s latest 2018 World Cup qualifier, Butcher believes Gareth Southgate needs to make a change.
He told the BBC: “There is a case, and a very strong case, to give Jack Butland a chance now because he was in pole position before he got injured.”
Pressed on whether Hart should be dropped, the former defender said: “Yes. I was very disappointed with the goals [against Scotland]. Joe is a big guy, his positioning, neither shot was particularly close to the post and it’s disappointing that he did not even get a glove on it.”
Hart was not the only player to disappoint Butcher against Scotland, though, with there little evidence in an end-of-season encounter that England had been buoyed by a boot camp with the Royal Marines.
Instead, they required a stoppage-time leveller from Tottenham striker Harry Kane to snatch a point in a 2-2 draw.
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Butcher added: “I like the idea [of the boot camp], but I didn’t see much evidence of it.
“England deserve full praise for at least coming back. It had a real feel of beach football rather than grass football, didn’t it?”
Despite being held by their arch-rivals at Hampden Park, England remain top of Group F and are well on course to book their place at next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.