My tribe

You choose: Who should be England's No. 1?

Spain keeper Iker Casillas has called England's goalkeeping situation a "real problem," saying David James , Rob Green and Joe Hart will all struggle at the World Cup. Is the Real Madrid stopper right? Or is the England goalkeeping situation not as bleak as he suggests?

imscouting.com gathers the facts and asks if you were the Italian coach, would you go for experienced James, penalty-hero Green or in-form Hart?


Age: 39

Weight: 94kg / 206lbs

Height: 1.93m / 6.33ft.

Career: Watford -88/89-92/93; Liverpool - 92/93 - 99/2000; Aston Villa - 99/2000 - 2001/02; West Ham - 2001/02 - 2003/2004; Manchester City - 2003/2004 - 2006/2007; Portsmouth - 2006/2007.

David James has certainly improved with age.

After leaving Watford for a dream move to Liverpool back in 1992, James' careless, and often horrific blunders earned him the title of 'Calamity James.'

His tremendous agility too often played second fiddle to his poor judgment and concentration.

However, now approaching his 40s, James has developed into an exceptional stopper, and thanks to his resilience and hard work, he has proved his doubters wrong and appears to have shaken off that unfortunate nickname.

His judgment has improved dramatically, resulting in a reduction - though not the complete eradication - of the silly mistakes and poor judgment calls that blighted him earlier in his career.

James has the all-time Premier League record of 536 appearances and has kept 171 clean sheets, also a Premier League record.

He has had an up-and-down international career, being in and out of the side since his full debut against Mexico in 1997 over a period spanning four different managers.

He started in each of Capello's first 13 games in charge, before injury problems gave his rivals hope of snatching the No. 1 jersey from him.

Nevertheless, his far superior experience could well give him the nod over his rivals.


Age: 30

Height: 1.91m / 6.27ft.

Weight: 93kg / 204lbs

Career: Norwich 1996-2006; West Ham 2006 - present day

Although not always playing at the highest level, Green has proved to be an extremely reliable 'keeper, with impressive shot stopping and reflexes.

His main weakness is on crosses, but it hasn't become a serious flaw in his game.

Green played a key role in helping Norwich win the Championship (old First Division) title in the 2003-04 season and promotion to the Premier League.

Performances of a high standard led to his first England international call up for the friendly in March 2004 versus Sweden.

Norwich were relegated to the Championship the following season, in what was a disappointing season for Green.

In August 2006, Norwich accepted a bid of some £2m from West Ham United for Green, and he made a name for himself at the start of the 2007-08 saving the first three penalties taken against him.

On 6 June 2009, Green made his first England start in their 4-0 win in Almaty against Kazakhstan in a World Cup qualifying game.

Green's ability is undoubted, although playing in struggling sides could well work against the 30-year-old.


Age: 23

Height: 1.93m / 6.33ft

Weight: 83kg / 182lbs

Career: Shrewsbury Town: 2003-2006; Manchester City: 2006-present day; 2007 - Tranmere Rovers (loan); 2007 - Blackpool (loan); 2009-2010 Birmingham City (loan)

Hart arrived at his current spell at Manchester City via Shrewsbury, Tranmere and Blackpool, but it wasn't until his loan spell last season at Birmingham that he really started to shine at the top level.

The outstanding young goalkeeper quickly became first choice at Eastlands in season 2008/2009, when then-City manger Sven Goran Erikson hailed him as "one of the biggest talents in this country as a goalkeeper."

The following season, Hart lost his place in the City side under new boss Mark Hughes after Shay Given arrived at Eastlands in January 2009.

Nevertheless, Hart kept his head up and moved to Birmingham to play first-team football.

He had an outstanding season for Alex McLeish's side, keeping 10 clean sheets, and helping the team to a club-record 12-match unbeaten run in the top flight and an eventual tenth place.

He is a tremendous shot-stopper with sharp judgment and reflexes, and is at ease with the ball at his feet. He is also a brave keeper, exemplified by gashing his head when diving at the feet of Chelsea's Salomon Kalou in December 2009.

However, his command of area and taking crosses are two areas to work on.

Hart was nominated for the 2010 PFA Young Player of the Year award, which was ultimately won by James Milner, but he was still awarded with a place in the PFA Team of the Year.

The 23-year-old made his England debut against Trinidad & Tobago on 1 June, 2008, and played the second half of both recent World Cup warm-up victories against Mexico and Japan.

If it's current form Capello is looking for, Hart can certainly boast to be the man for the job going into the World Cup.

For more interesting and unique content with IMS observations and analysis on teams from the World Cup go to...


About the author

Have your say
  • Add your favourite leagues and clubs
  • Build your own personal news stream
  • Easily share your favourite stories
  • Connect with what your friends are saying

Select your favourite
leagues and clubs
to get started.

Already part of MyTribe?