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David Seaman fears for Joe Hart’s World Cup starting spot

Hart has been restricted to 14 league appearances this season.

David Seaman fears for Joe Hart’s World Cup starting spot

David Seaman fears Joe Hart could lose his status as England’s number one ahead of the World Cup due to his lack of action for West Ham.

Goalkeeper Hart joined the Hammers on a season-long loan from Manchester City last summer but has not started a Premier League game since November after falling out of favour.

Former Three Lions keeper Seaman believes Hart – who is expected to be on the bench again at Swansea on Saturday – remains the best option available to national team manager Gareth Southgate.

But, with West Ham boss David Moyes currently preferring Spaniard Adrian, Seaman thinks Hart’s international place could be taken by either Stoke’s Jack Butland or Everton keeper Jordan Pickford at this summer’s tournament in Russia.

“It is a problem and it’s getting more of a problem the more he doesn’t play,” said Seaman speaking at the London Football Awards in aid of the national charity, Willow.

“And in Joe’s situation, the other two (Butland and Pickford) are getting closer to him.

“There’s three goalkeepers there that are at a great standard, for me Joe’s a much higher standard because of the levels that he’s played at.

“It is going to be a big decision if it stays like it is at the moment. I would start questioning it, if he’s not played at all.

“OK, he’s playing in cups, but West Ham don’t get very far in cups, so that means less games.

“It’s going to be a tough decision but I would always go with experience.”

Although 24-year-old Butland and 23-year-old Pickford are Premier League regulars, they are both inexperienced at international level.

Butland has been capped six times, while former Sunderland man Pickford’s solitary England outing came in November’s draw against Germany.

Thirty-year-old Hart, on the other hand, has made 75 appearances for the national team and been to two World Cups and two European Championships.

Ex-Arsenal stopper Seaman, who also won 75 caps – between 1988 and 2002, feels it is risky to play young keepers in big games, citing Scott Carson’s debut error in the 3-2 defeat to Croatia which ended England’s Euro 2008 qualification hopes.

“I talk about different levels that goalkeepers have played at, Joe’s done all of it,” added the 54-year-old.

“Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland they’ve not done that level so you’ve always got to be careful.

“Because when you look at what happened to Scott Carson when he came in for his England debut in a massive game, he made a mistake in the first five minutes and his game went. You’ve always got to be cautious of that.

“But we don’t know yet – somebody might get injured, Joe might come in (to West Ham’s team), we don’t know.”

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