Hart howler prompts calls for England axing

A former Premier League star-turned TV pundit claims Joe Hart has "dropped his ticket" to the World Cup after his howler for West Ham against Stoke.

The England incumbent was at fault for the opening goal against Stoke on Monday night (Tuesday AEST) as he fumbled a long-range shot that gifted Peter Crouch a simple tap-in that saw him become the Potters' all-time top scorer in the Premier League.

The Hammers would go on to draw the league encounter 1-1, with Andy Carroll's late strike sparing their blushes at London Stadium. 

Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton, who now works as a football pundit for the BBC, said Hart should not be in England manager Gareth Southgate's squad for Russia after his latest high-profile error.

"You cannot take someone because they are a nice bloke and good in the dressing room," Sutton said on BBC Radio 5 live.

"If England get two injuries to goalkeepers you need your third keeper to be strong. That is how it should be judged." 

Hart is competing with Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope among others to be on the plane to Russia. 

"There are three better goalkeepers than [Hart]," Sutton said.

"Gareth Southgate isn't wondering if he is a joker, is he good in the dressing room? He is wondering if he is going to make a save and keep us in the tournament. 

"After that, how can Southgate go away and feel he can trust Joe Hart in an England jersey again?"

Fans were equally scathing of the England keeper on social media after the match.

Hart turned in a strong performance in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea last weekend, but the former Blues striker said Monday night's display showed the 30-year-old lacks the consistency required of an international goalkeeper.

"You feel for Joe Hart after what was a good display at Chelsea - he kept West Ham in the game," said Sutton. "But tonight was bread and butter. Football is harsh.

"He was indecisive when that shot came in from Xherdan Shaqiri. He should have gathered it. It would have been routine for the Hart of yesteryear.

"But he spilled it and it was a woeful, woeful bit of goalkeeping."

West Ham manager David Moyes refused to stick the boot into his custodian, but did admit Hart made a costly error.

Hart is in serious danger of losing his England spot. Pic: Getty

"He had two very similar shots in the first half," Moyes told a news conference.

"So it was a surprise that it spilled out. If you're a goalkeeper, it's going to happen [mistakes].

"I said after he made great saves at Chelsea 'well done'. Just like tonight, I'll tell him he should have done better."

West Ham have taken five points from their last three matches and sit seven points above the relegation zone, but Moyes is not convinced his side are assured of a place in next season's Premier League.

"If you get to 40 points, then it'll be close," the Scot said. "We want 40."

With agencies