Joe Hart insists he has the mental fortitude to cope with being England’s number one at a World Cup.
England have had some fine goalkeepers in recent times, but many of them will always be remembered for the sloppy goals they let in on the international stage.
David Seaman won 75 caps, but he will always be remembered for letting in Ronaldhino’s speculative long-range lob at the 2002 World Cup.
Scott Carson was blamed for England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008 thanks to his gaffe against Croatia while David James could never escape his ‘Calamity James’ moniker despite 13 years’ international service.
For Carson, Green and Seaman, their gaffes proved terminal. They barely played for England again.
Hart was sat on the bench that day in Bloemfontein and he knows the same could happen to him at the World Cup in Brazil.
“He had a bad moment, which we all have,” the England goalkeeper said. “That’s the nature of being a goalkeeper. Robert understands that, I understand it.”
Hart may have not let in a howler for England yet, but he has made a few big mistakes for Manchester City this season.
The England goalkeeper made errors against Bayern Munich, Chelsea Aston Villa.
Hart lost his place in the City team, but he never lost faith in his own abilities.
Hart returned to the City team two months later and then he put on a number of sterling displays to help his team win the Barclays Premier League.
“Goalkeeper is a position that requires (mental strength),” Hart added. “And if you don’t (have it), there’s a good chance you’ll get trampled to the wayside. It’s a position where you need to be strong and focused.”
Although City manager Manuel Pellegrini decided to take Hart out of the firing line last autumn, England coach Roy Hodgson never considered taking such a step.
“I’d like to think I am a better ‘keeper and person for it,” Hart said. “Roy’s backing was important, of course, and everyone at City was fantastic too. It means a lot to have both your club and country behind you.”