Former England number one Ray Clemence believes English goalkeeping’s present and future will be at opposite ends of the pitch as City take on Portsmouth tomorrow.
Joe Hart appears to have shaken off a knock picked up in last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Sunderland and will be fit to touch gloves with former City favourite, David James at the City of Manchester Stadium.
And according to Clemence, now the Football Association's Head of National Teams, 37-year-old James is in the best form of his career. Although he’s warned the Pompey stopper to be aware of a number of young English keeping talent now challenging for the number one spot in Fabio Capello's side"
He said: "The England goalkeeping situation is a lot better than it was four or five years ago.
"We have got a lot of young keepers who have got into their first teams, are improving and their dedication to the job is superb.”
One of those, as the former Liverpool and Tottenham keeper points out, is the current City number one: “There is Joe Hart at Manchester City and I have to congratulate Sven-Goran Eriksson on his bravery in putting him in at 20 and telling him he is in basically for the season.
"It has taken enormous pressure off him and Joe knows if he does make a mistake, he will still be in the side the following game and that has shown in his performances."
Clemence added: "I would imagine the last two years have been the two most consistent years of David James' career.
"He is a great role model for young keepers in terms of how he works physically and technically at the game and it has come good for him again.”