Hart happy to have a quiet one
England keeper Joe Hart will be happier if he joins the ranks of the unemployed at Wembley on Friday night.
With England expected to cruise to a World Cup victory over San Marino, Hart's major challenge will be keeping warm. In years gone by, it is the type of evening he would hate. However, as he has made his way to his present status as one of the world's best goalkeepers, Hart has come to understand the best nights are the quiet ones.
"As a kid I used to enjoy it when we were hammered and there was loads to do," he said.
"But this is our livelihoods now. I want us to win 10--0 and me not to touch the ball.
"I am not going to stand there and sulk because they are not coming near the penalty area."
The presence of John Terry would normally provide a fairly formidable shield for Hart anyway. Terry is no longer around though. And whilst Hart is unwilling to enter any debate about the reasons why, from a purely footballing perspective he believes the Chelsea skipper will be missed.
"John is a great centre-half and a great servant to his country. It's a shame we've lost him," said Hart.
"I don't know what's going on in John's life on or off the field.
"I only know him when I'm here training and eating chicken and pasta next to him.
"He is a really good guy and, football wise, an inspiration. It is a big blow not having him here."
Hart does believe the alternatives are top notch though, with Gary Cahill hoping to split the partnership between Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka that had done so well until last month's disappointing draw with Ukraine. If San Marino also leave Wembley with a point it would rank as one of the biggest shocks in football history. Coach Roy Hodgson does not want to take any risks ahead of Tuesday's trip to Poland, which might leave him looking for a captain given Steven Gerrard is suspended and Frank Lampard reported for duty with a knee injury. Hart would be in the frame, having been spoken of as captaincy material when Terry was axed for a second time earlier this year. However, the Manchester City keeper cannot look beyond the claims of Wayne Rooney.
"I've no idea who is going to be captain but I am pretty sure it will fall to Rooney," said Hart.
"He is our star man with 10 million caps at the age of whatever he is, 26? "I imagine he is a little bit further up the queue than me."
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