World Cup 2014: Fraser Forster faces the boring life of a third-choice keeper
Celtci stopper is likely to be behind Joe Hart and Ben Foster in the goalkeeping pecking order
One player who is unlikely to get any game time before the World Cup, and, Hodgson will hope, during it, is Fraser Forster. The Celtic goalkeeper has only played one match for England, against Chile in November, but Hodgson indicated he was unlikely to add to that before the finals.
Hodgson's priority is to keep Joe Hart match-sharp. He must then give Hart's understudy, Ben Foster, much-needed playing time. Foster has only played 45 minutes for England – and that was a year ago - since Hodgson persuaded him to return to the international fold. His previous cap was in 2010.
Back-up goalkeepers do not often play, but they need to be ready when they do. Witness the 1970 World Cup when Peter Bonetti deputised after Gordon Banks contracted food poisoning and was blamed for West Germany's quarter-final comeback. More recently, at Euro 2000, Nigel Martyn was thrust into the frontline in the final group game when David Seaman was injured in the warm-up.
Martyn dropped the cross from which Romania levelled, going on to win and knock England out. At the last World Cup David James replaced Rob Green after the latter’s mistake against the USA in the opening game, but James was a highly experienced international ‘keeper who had only recently lost his England place.
A third choice goalkeeper has never been needed at a tournament by England and, said Hodgson, “When you’re third-choice goalkeeper you might have to accept your chance of minutes are less. When it comes to Ben Foster and Joe Hart they’re in a different category, where I’d be looking to get them minutes. Whether I can get Fraser some as well is harder. There are only three matches and Joe Hart in particular, who’s our number one…but even Ben [Foster] as well…20 minutes each isn’t doing them any good.”
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