Joe Hart gives Gareth Southgate food for thought after impressive display
The West Ham goalkeeper stood out at Stamford Bridge.
Joe Hart sent a timely reminder to England boss Gareth Southgate with a man-of-the-match display in West Ham’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea.
The goalkeeper’s World Cup spot is under threat after a difficult season which has seen him dropped by Hammers manager David Moyes following some unconvincing performances.
Hart was not used in either of England’s friendlies against Holland and Italy last month, with Jack Butland and then Jordan Pickford getting the nod, while Burnley’s Nick Pope is also in the frame.
But the Manchester City loanee is back in favour under Moyes and at Stamford Bridge showed glimpses of the form which made him the Three Lions’ undisputed number one not so long ago.
Hart made a fine first-half block to deny Willian when he was clean through, and after the break tipped Marcos Alonso’s fierce drive over the top before palming Olivier Giroud’s header around a post to preserve a point for his side.
Moyes said: “Joe Hart showed why he has so many caps and so many medals, so that will be good for him.
“Whoever plays Chelsea needs a good goalkeeper because they always make chances. We have more big teams to come and we will need our keeper to play well.”
Warm tributes were paid to former Blues skipper Ray Wilkins following his death last week, and his old side took a deserved lead nine minutes before half-time through Cesar Azpilicueta.
But in the 73rd minute Marko Arnautovic collected Gary Cahill’s weak headed clearance and cut the ball back for substitute Javier Hernandez to slot home.
With Chelsea 10 points behind Tottenham Blues boss Antonio Conte all but ruled out their chances of finishing in the top four.
“We must be realistic,” he said. “You must win this game if you want to reach a target, in this case we want to reach a place in the Champions League.
“This season we have struggled and this game describes our season.”