After England exited Euro 2016 in extremely amusing fashion to Iceland, Joe Hart readily admitted that he was at fault for two goals scored against England at the tournament.
The first was Gareth Bale's free kick for Wales in the group stage. England went on to win that game 2-1, making his error essentially inconsequential. The other was Kolbeinn Sigthorsson's winner for Iceland. Hart made a feeble attempt to keep out what was a relatively weak shot. England's attempts to negate Hart's error were even more feeble.
It has led to calls for Hart to be dropped as England's number one. The roadblock to this is the lack of inspiring alternatives. At Euro 2016, Roy Hodgson's other options were Fraser Forster and Tom Heaton. Between them, they have a total of seven caps.
Hart's errors are not solely restricted to international football. In 2013/14, Manuel Pellegrini dropped Hart as Man City's first choice keeper though we would regain the position after seven games.
What exactly is wrong with Hart's game is hard to put a finger on. But, Fabien Barthez, World Cup and European Championship winner, had a go.
In an interview with France Football, where he was discussing the quality of goalkeeping at the tournament, the former Man Utd player explained what he feels is wrong with Hart's technique.
His diving technique isn’t good. It’s too horizontal, not aggressive enough. He messes up because he doesn’t attack the ball’s path, meaning his hands are then pushed back by the impact with the ball. Hart is two levels below (Manuel) Neuer, (Thibaut) Courtois and (Hugo) Lloris.
He isn’t flexible and doesn’t come out. When he runs, it’s just ‘thud, thud, thud’. It’s heavy. I don’t understand the English culture around the position. They need huge guys, but they’re just walls that don’t come out. Clubs and the FA need to change their philosophy in developing goalkeepers.