Roy Hodgson defended Joe Hart – a big a favourite with price per head sportsbooks – whose form came under fire after his poor performance in Manchester City’s UEFA Champions League loss against Bayern Munich.
Price per head sportsbooks saw that Hodgson included the player for the World Cup qualifying games against Montenegro and Poland which could let England qualify for the World Cup if both matches are won.
And pay per head services found out that even though there were some very good recent performances from Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster, the England coach said that Hart continues to be his first-choice.
“He kept clean sheets against Moldova and Ukraine,” he said. “We have let in three goals in eight games so it’ll take a lot more than one bad game from any player before I start suggesting he is replaced by somebody.
“He is clearly the number one. We’re pleased with Fraser, we think he’s done really, really well and I think he’s got a great future.
“But certainly I think it will be a mistake to suggest he should be given the responsibility of these two vitally important games.
“The players who have the most experience are the ones who have to make certain they deserve it and that they are worthy of it in these two games. Then we’ll see what Fraser can do.”
Hodgson and price per head sportsbooks believe that when things go wrong, goalkeepers can be an easy target, and he reiterated the faith that he has in Hart, who was capped by England 35 times.
“It’s a little bit easier to criticise the goalkeeper for what you think is a mistake than maybe the midfielder whose poor play two or three moments earlier has provoked the goal chance in the first place,” he said.
“I believe Joe will shrug this off. I am sure he is not happy with the criticism, I’m sure he is not happy to have let in goals which maybe he thinks he could have stopped but this is a fact of life.
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“As far as I am concerned he has never let me or the team down during the time I have been working with him so I have every confidence every faith in him that he will have the confidence to put this behind him.”