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Butland belief pays off as Hodgson hands him England start

| 10.10.2015

With England having now qualified for Euro 2016, Roy Hodgson could further ring the changes for the Three Lions’ last qualifying match against Lithuania, and he has confirmed that Jack Butland will feature.

There is no doubt that Joe Hart is England’s undisputed number one choice for the goalkeeping jersey, but in Butland he has someone who can put him under considerable pressure.


His teammate at Stoke City, Shay Given who competes for the regular custodian spot at the Britannia says he has been impressed by the attitude of the 22-year-old’s “arrogance” claiming it is this self-belief that will serve him well.

“I think his belief in himself is really high for someone so young. He has real belief, confidence and maybe arrogance, but in a good way.” stated Given.

“That sometimes comes with experience, but he’s got that in abundance for someone so young. He’s showing everyone else in the Premier League, and around the world, that he’s got a big future ahead of him.”

In a way, he almost mirrors Joe Hart who was accused of being overly cocky at times last season, though Hart could be a good example for Butland to follow.

Having got his head down, the Manchester City goalkeeper went on to produce some of the best performances by any custodian in the Premier League last season, form which has continued this campaign.

Handing Butland a competitive England start, especially against Lithuania, could be a smart move by Hodgson, which would give the Stoke stopper a taste of what could be more to come, if Hart is unlucky enough to sustain an injury before Euro 2016 which England are 11/1 with Coral to win.

Butland certainly gives Hodgson food for thought and the backing from a goalkeeper as respected as Given could further strengthen the youngster’s case.



Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.