James fears for English talent

08 February 2009 12:44
Portsmouth's David James believes Shay Given's high-profile transfer to Manchester City has worsened the problems affecting England's goalkeeping talent.

James is unhappy at the number of first-choice English goalkeepers at Premier League clubs (seven) - a stat that has declined following Given's switch from Newcastle to Eastlands.

Given's City arrival has pushed Joe Hart out of Mark Hughes' first-team picture and James fears the 21-year-old's confidence and international prospects will have been dealt a massive blow

With just nine Championship clubs employing English talent between the sticks James feels more needs to be done to protect home-grown talent in the top two tiers of the domestic game.

Bad news"It's not his fault, but Shay Given's transfer to Manchester City is bad news for the future of English goalkeeping," he told the Sunday Observer.

"It is great, for me personally, to see an older keeper making a high-profile move to as ambitious a club as Manchester City. However, it begs the question: what will happen to Joe Hart?

"I've already backed Joe to be a key part of England's drive for success at the 2010 World Cup and beyond, but if he isn't getting games in the top flight his future could hang in the balance.

"It will be tough for him. All season long Joe was number one at City, so what happens now? Will he be shifted to the bench, or farmed out on loan?

"In either case Joe looks like to add to the grim statistics on number of first-choice England goalkeepers in our top two divisions. It is surprising how grim those stats are."

Source: SKY_Sports