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Joe Hart
Season 2013/14

World Cup 2014 Ladder: Hart, Lescott and Richards

  • 16 June 2013 12:50
  • Posted by @porter_mcfc

We examine the prospects of three of our England contingent - Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards - ahead of Brazil 2014.

Joe Hart

Age 26

Caps/Goals: 32/0

Joe Hart

International career to date…

Joe Hart’s senior international career overlapped with his performances for the Under 21s, because he caught Fabio Capello’s eye for his first senior cap while still eligible for the younger lions.  

The Shrewsbury-born keeper made his senior debut in a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago in 2008, and was first choice for Stuart Pearce’s men in the Under 21 European Championship in 2009.

Having graduated permanently, he was selected as part of the squad that headed to South Africa for the World Cup in 2010, playing back up to Robert Green and David James.

By Euro 2012, Joe’s assured and confident performances between the sticks had earned the no.1 shirt, and he appeared in every England game until the Thee Lions eventually crashed out to Italy in the quarter finals.

Along the way, the City no.1 has kept a clean sheet against Spain, distinguished himself against Brazil and received press nominations for the international captaincy – not bad for 26!

Will his nation be there?

The Three Lions have made heavy work so far of navigating the choppy waters of Group H, where the main competition is Montenegro and Ukraine. However, a recent tussle between the duo went the way of Ukraine (and England), leaving Roy Hodgson’s men two points off the top with a game in hand.

With three matches still to play at Wembley, England will be expected to book their place at next summer’s football feast.

Who's the competition?

City’s no.1 has made the same shirt his own for England, and is an automatic selection on Hodgson’s teamsheet. Heroics in the recent friendly with Brazil in the Maracana further emphasised that Joe is one of Hodgson’s best assets.

Jack Butland has been tipped for future stardom, but the 20-year-old will be expecting a tussle with Ben Foster and John Ruddy for the first reserve spot. Reading’s Alex McCarthy and Celtic’s Fraser Forster have also been capped recently.

International highlight

Although it wasn’t a competitive match, in February this year Joe clawed away Ronaldinho’s penalty and then twisted to his right to grasp the rebound  - playing a crucial role as England clinched a first victory over Brazil in 23 years.

Joleon Lescott

Age 26

Caps/Goals: 26/1

Joleon Lescott

International career to date…

Another City man who came through the youth ranks for England, Joleon Lescott made his first senior start under Steve McClaren in 2007. McClaren’s successor, Fabio Capello, also valued Lescott’s contribution to the squad and the defender was involved in qualification for the 2010 World Cup, injury cruelly robbing him of a place at the finals.

He was rewarded for his skill and dedication when Roy Hodgson selected him as part of the England team to go to Euro 2012, and he started each of England’s four games at the tournament – forming a strong partnership with John Terry in the centre of defence.

Will his nation be there?

As above.

Who's the competition?

Now that the once permanent partnership of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand at the heart of defence has been broken beyond repair, England have a plethora of defenders who will be looking to show Roy Hodgson in the upcoming domestic campaign that they can rise to the challenge in Brazil.

Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka were the starting duo in the Maracana earlier this month, and Joleon will also have to watch out for City teammate Micah Richards, and Manchester United’s Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to secure his ticket to South America.

International highlight

Having missed out in South Africa, giving England the lead against France in the opening game of Euro 2012 will have felt particularly sweet. 

Micah Richards

Age 26

Caps/Goals: 13/1

Micah Richards

International career to date…

Debuting for the England senior team when just 18 years old in 2006, Micah Richards scored his first international goal just one year later. A regular member of the squad under Steve McClaren, Micah’s England career unexpectedly stalled with the arrival of Capello.

Seemingly unfancied by the new boss, the City academy graduate was still young enough to start for the Under 21 side, and played a crucial role in the European Championships for that age group in 2009.

He obviously made a big impression on manager Stuart Pearce, who selected him as one of three overage players for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics.

Will his nation be there?

As above.

Who's the competition?

Able to perform strongly at either centre back or right back, Micah’s versatility could be his friend in the battle for places, and an injury-free season in the 2013/14 campaign will help the defender demonstrate his talents to Roy Hodgson.

On the right, Glen Johnson and Kyle Walker provide the competition for a starting berth, while the 24 year-old will also be hoping to challenge Lescott, Cahill, Jagielka and Smalling in the centre of defence.

International highlight

Starting his first senior international in November 2006, Micah became England’s youngest ever defender – smashing a record previously held by Rio Ferdinand.

Tomorrow, we'll take a look at the rest of the City players who could be pulling on an England shirt next summer. 

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