Gordon Banks: 'Joe Hart needs challengers'

Banks: 'Hart needs challengers'
© PA Photos
Gordon Banks says that Joe Hart cannot become the best goalkeeper in the world unless he faces stronger competition for his place.

England's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has admitted that he is worried about the lack of competition for his former position.

Manchester City's Joe Hart has been the Three Lions keeper since the conclusion of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and has never looked in doubt of losing his place.

While Banks is under no illusion of Hart's ability, he is concerned by the lack of competition he faces at both club and country level.

"Joe is the best English goalkeeper by a mile, no question, but what concerns me is that there is nobody challenging him for that position," said Banks. "I don't think he is the best in the world but the age he is (25), he stands a great chance of being the best.

"I don't want him to get too over-confident where he doesn't have to worry about his place. Nobody is pushing Joe Hart at all - he is not even being pushed by his club. Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence used to share the duties and they had Phil Parkes, Joe Corrigan and Peter Bonetti [challenging] and when I came through there was Ron Springett.

"You couldn't have a bad game and then say to yourself that you'd have to be in the squad because there is nobody else, you had to be on your toes. We currently have no strength in depth, none whatsoever and the reason is that with the Premier League you have foreign players taking the position of young home-grown lads. There are fewer and fewer players to pick from. We have got to find a method of bringing young goalkeepers through."

Banks earned 73 caps for England.

Joe Hart
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