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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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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