Manchester City's Hart will become 'one of the best in the world', says Southall

With the England shot stopper being heavily criticised in recent weeks, the former Wales international has come to the 25-year-old's defence and hailed his potential for the future
By James McManus

Ex-Wales and Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall has slammed recent criticism of Joe Hart and believes the Manchester City stopper can become the best in the world in his position.

Southall earned 92 caps for his country, as well as chalking up 578 appearances for the Toffees and he believes that, while Hart is not the best in Europe at the moment, he can go on to achieve great things in his burgeoning career.

Hart has come under fire for a number of high-profile errors lately, including the decision to rush off his line that led to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s fourth goal against England, but Southall has dismissed suggestions that the City man is off form.

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“I just think it’s a load of pants, really,” the 54-year-old told “If you look at him, he’s the most improved goalkeeper I’ve seen for a long, long time.

“He’s gone in there and now he’s let in a couple of goals that people think he should not have let in. That was always going to happen.”

Southall is also of the belief that, as long as Hart is eager to learn, he will be able to complete the long-term transition into becoming a world-class goalkeeper with time.

“Best in Europe? Not at the moment because he’s still a bit young," he continued.

“He hasn’t learnt what he needs to learn and that takes time, I’m sure he’s learning his craft every day.

“In time, if he carries on going the way he is, he’s going to be one of the best in the world. He’s probably already in the top 20 at the moment.

“Now he’s just got to work himself up to the number one position. I’m sure that’s his aim and his ambition.”

Signed copies of Neville Southall's autobiography, 'The Binman Chronicles', are available exclusively from

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