Soccer

The battle for England’s No.1 spot

Image Source: Dave Thompson/Getty Images Europe

Let’s face it, it’s not going to be easy for Roy Hodgson, England’s head coach, come to the end of the season to pick between two of the most inform goalkeepers in the league. The argument about who is better could go on forever, with many premier league fans having very mixed emotions on the issue. Some (like myself) would say: ” stick with what you know and play Joe Hart, he has more experience.” However others may say: “Jack Butland has proven more in a worse team with a poorer defence, imagine how few he’d concede with a world class defence.”

It’s time to make a decision.

Jack Butland

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Butland has been one of many stars for Stoke City this season, being the difference between winning and losing on many occasions already. The most recent being in Stoke’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal, played last Saturday, where Butland made 4 saves and claimed the BBC’s man of the match award.

Jack Butland has made the most saves in the premier league so far this season, saving 64 shots on target, more than any other English keeper in the league.

Butland has also kept 9 clean sheets this season, conceding 24 goals in the process.

Form doesn’t necessarily mean everything when being picked by Roy Hodgson however, who is known to keep to players who do well on the international scene over those doing well in domestic ¬†leagues, an example being Tottenham’s Andros Townsend who struggles to get a game for Spurs but somehow has played 3 competitive games for England.

Joe Hart

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Joe Hart is a great example of a player who is consistent for England and his domestic club, Manchester City. During the European qualifying stages, Joe Hart played 9 games and kept 7 clean sheets, only conceding 3 times. Hodgson is currently favouring Joe Hart over Jack Butland, only playing Butland once for the national team

In comparison to Jack Butland, the two goalkeepers are very even, here are the stats:

Joe Hart and Jack Butland comparison:

Most clean sheets: Joe Hart ( 10 ) Jack Butland ( 9 )

Least goals conceded: Joe Hart ( 16 ) Jack Butland ( 24 )

Most saves made: Jack Butland ( 64 ) Joe Hart ( 43 )

Games played: Jack Butland ( 22 ) Joe Hart ( 20 )

Champions League caps: Joe Hart ( 23 ) Jack Butland ( 0 )

Summary:

If Manchester City fails to win the league, that will give Roy Hodgson more evidence that he should probably give Butland an opportunity in goal, although if Stoke continues to do well and finish in the top 7, that shall also give Hodgson more meaning to play Butland.

Only time will tell.

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