World Cup: England’s Joe Hart says omission from squad is ‘hard to take’

Hart was dropped twice from the West Ham starting line-up this season

Goalkeeper Joe Hart says his omission from England’s squad for next month’s World Cup in Russia “is hard to take”.

Hart, 31, has 75 caps and was England’s first-choice goalkeeper at the past three major tournaments but was left out of Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad.

“Not going to lie, I’m gutted. I know what I bring to the team, but it is what it is,” Hart wrote on Instagram.

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere said on Thursday he “could have made a real impact” after he was also left out.

The 26-year-old said he should be on the plane to Russia as he has felt “fit, sharp and strong all season”.

Manager Southgate named England’s third-youngest squad in the tournament’s history on Wednesday with Hart and Wilshere the two highest-profile omissions.

Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope were selected as England’s three goalkeepers despite Hart playing every minute of the team’s first nine World Cup qualifiers.

He has endured a difficult period at club level, first falling out of favour at Manchester City before conceding 39 goals in 19 Premier League games on loan at West Ham this season.

“After two years of trying to make the most of a really tough situation, this is hard to take,” Hart added.

“I’m proud to have put in the graft and play every minute to qualify with the team and have a really important input in that outcome.

“The players know that even though I won’t be there, I will have my England shirt on as a fan this time and supporting all the way.”

On Thursday, Southgate said it was a “difficult decision” not to select Hart but there was “no reason” it should mark the end of his international career.

I should be in squad – Wilshere

Jack Wilshere started Arsenal’s last home game of the season – a 5-0 win over Burnley

Wilshere, who has had an injury-plagued career, has left out despite making 38 appearances for Arsenal in the 2017-18 season, including 12 Premier League starts.

He won the last of his 34 England caps in the Euro 2016 defeat by Iceland.

“It goes without saying, I’m incredibly disappointed,” said Wilshere.