Shilton backs Hart to break England record
Peter Shilton believes Joe Hart will beat his own record of 125 England caps, but fears it could take England 10 years to bring through the next crop of youngsters to make the national team a force to be reckoned with.
With the influx of foreign talent, England mangers have had fewer choices when it has come to the selection of goalkeepers. Hart, though, has cemented his place, and Shilton says if he continues to work at his game he has enough time on his side to surpass his record mark.
"Joe Hart has done really well, he is still only young, he is still improving, he needs to continue to improve and he needs to work hard at his game.
"What I like about him is that he seems to want to improve and wands to work hard at his game, which he will need to do. He has stepped in and stabalised the England goalkeeping situation which has been a little up and down over recent years, and to be fair riddled with inconsistency.
"I had high hopes of Ben Foster for example but he doesn't seem to have risen to the challenge, but again to be fair it isn't easy stepping up a big level to the England team.
"But Joe has showed a lot of confidence and has started to grow into the position, and if he does work and continues to improve than he can stay the No1 for many years to come.
"He needs to be pushed, he needs to be kept on his toes, because England are relying on him at a time when there isn't a great deal of strength in depth with England goalkeepers, and to be fair there hasn't been any strength in depth now for many years which has been very worrying for the national team.
"My feeling is that you have to go back some time to find English goalkeepers in the Premier League with the technical ability, these days it is more about agility and reflexes than technical know how, and that worries me. The techniques, the real art of goalkeeping has disappeared," said Shilton.
Shilton believes that Hart has the talent and application to reach 100 caps or more but he warned: "Yes, that is possible. It is even possible he can reach my total of caps, but there is an awful long way to go, and I was lucky with injuries and he would have to be the same. Loss of form or injuries are the big hazards ahead of any goalkeeper. But, he is definitely young enough to have a very long international career.
"You can never tell, but I think he has a very good chance. He is at the right age, and there isn't a lot of challenge to his position at the moment."