Ruddy’s injury leaves England short on goalkeepers for Euro 2012 looks at England's goalkeeping options after Norwich City's John Ruddy was ruled out of Euro 2012

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joe hart
Hart is England's only keeper to have played in the Premier League this season Photo: DigDeep

joe hart

Ruddy’s injury leaves England very thin on goalkeeper ground

It was amusing to see North Korea trying to pull a fast one and name a striker as one of their three stoppers at the last World Cup, only for Fifa to wade in and decree that said player could only feature in goal, not out on pitch.

But the withdrawal of John Ruddy from the England squad for Euro 2012 after a training ground injury is a genuine concern, even if in Joe Hart, England have the best goalkeeper they’ve had for years.

Hart has had a superb campaign, in fact a superb couple of seasons, but he has never been to a major tournament and he will be the only one of England’s three goalkeepers that played in the Premier League this season.

If he buckles under the tournament pressure the options are limited.

Rob Green has been impressive for West Ham United but has not faced world class opposition and his clanger against the USA will be in the forefront of his mind.

And Jack Butland will now come into the squad to replace Ruddy.

Butland is 19 and made 24 appearances for League Two play-off finalists Cheltenham but did not even get a look in for parent club Birmingham City.

There is no doubt he has potential but England certainly have a problem if Hart picks up an injury, drops a clanger or gets sent off.

Butland could rue missing Olympics after Euro call-up

One man’s loss is another man’s gain when it comes to injuries before a major tournament – but will Butland really benefit from being part of the England squad heading to the Euros?

The Birmingham youngster will no doubt talk about how honoured he is to be part of Hodgson’s squad in Poland and the Ukraine.

But had Ruddy not broken his hand at the worst possible time, Butland would likely have been starting for Great Britain at the Olympics.

Of course the Euros should rank ahead of everything except a World Cup in international football, but for a youngster like Butland the chance to compete in a home Olympics must have been an incredible opportunity.

Instead he stands no chance of playing a part in Eastern Europe and his main role will probably be keeping Wayne Rooney sharp while he is suspended for the first two games.

Butland has a bright future, and with Hart, England might actually have some depth in the keeping department which hasn’t been in evidence in at least a couple of decades.

But going to the Euros as the third choice keeper seems very much like the poisoned apple for Butland.

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