Joe Hart says West Ham United can only benefit from players competing for places – including his own!
England’s No1 was among those impressed by the Hammers’ sensational comeback from two goals down to defeat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 at Wembley in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening.
West Ham’s win was made possible, in part, by the performance of Adrian in goal and, rather than be worried about how it may impact on his own position, Hart welcomed the Spaniard’s impressive display.
‘’It’s good,” said Hart, who has started all nine Premier League games so far this season, while Adrian has played in all three Carabao Cup ties.
For the No25, competition for his place is nothing new, with the likes of Andreas Isaksson, Shay Given, Costel Pantilimon and Willy Caballero all challenging Hart for his place at Manchester City.
At international level, he has consistently held off the challenge of a succession of challengers for his starting spot, including Jack Butland, John Ruddy, Fraser Forster, Tom Heaton and Jordan Pickford.
“I have been a part of strong goalkeeping line ups everywhere I have gone. This is no different. Adrian is a top goalkeeper and capable of big performances like he proved on Wednesday night.
“I enjoy working with him every day and we leave it up to the manager to work out what’s going on and we will try and give our best for the team.’’
I have been a part of strong goalkeeping line ups everywhere I have gone. This is no different
Indeed, Hart believes West Ham have two players battling for every position in Slaven Bilic’s side, particularly in the light of the performance put in by a much-changed team at Wembley in midweek.
Bilic’s selection for Saturday’s Premier League fixture at Crystal Palace is eagerly-awaited, with the likes of Mark Noble, Aaron Cresswell, Angelo Ogbonna and Andre Ayew all pushing for starts after being left out for the 3-0 Premier League defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion last Friday.
“When everyone is fit at our Club, we have a good enough squad to make it difficult for the manager. There’s strength in depth in every position so that’s why he gets paid his money and he will pick the best team to win.’’
Saturday’s game will see Hart come up against a manager he knows well in Roy Hodgson, the man who picked him 46 times for his country, took him to three major tournaments and named him England captain for the first time in Spain in November 2015.
The Hammers stopper believes the 70-year-old has the experience and knowhow to get Palace out of their current predicament, pointing to last weekend’s 2-1 win over champions Chelsea as proof.
“It’s been a tough time for them but I’m sure they are trying to address that in house and they have the same kind of hunger and desire as us – it’s who shows the quality on the day.
“You can’t beat Chelsea with one man. They’d have beaten Chelsea with all their players playing out of their skin. It helps having players like him. They have quality throughout their team. I don’t think there’s any team in the Premier League that doesn’t possess at least three standout players and the rest are very, very good.
“Roy has got lots of experience and can help. He’s managed at international level to a high level and up to the levels of Liverpool in the Premier League, so he’s knows what it takes to manage an important team and I am sure he will be drilling his players for a massive game.”