The sight of Carl Ikeme, eyes bulging, fists clenched, celebrating his penalty save with the magnificent away support last Saturday reminded me how fickle the world of football is – and especially for goalkeepers.
Wolves were 3-0 up at Colchester and cruising, but Ikeme wasn’t about to give up the currency he deals in – clean sheets, especially as the penalty award and yellow card against him were harsh.
But the weekend headlines were all about whether Joe Hart is good enough to keep the England No.1 jersey. I know we keepers are a tight group and I speak to Joe quite often, but the issue shouldn’t even arise. He is England’s best and one of the world’s best. He may be going through a little dip in form which can affect confidence, but I know who I want in my goal to help take England to Brazil.
People can analyse his perceived errors, but what annoys me is that some critics are saying he is arrogant and too big for his boots. Nothing could be further from the truth. He is a great professional, who works incredibly hard. If he does a shampoo advertisement to tap into his obvious marketing appeal, so what?
I would like to see more game time given to the other goalkeepers in the squad in friendlies. But in the meantime we have two vital games to get us there and you want big Joe between the sticks for his talent and temperament.
Matt Murray was speaking to the Express and Star in association with What House?