Celtic’s Fraser Forster confident that England and Norwich City goalkeeper coach Dave Watson will help him reach World Cup

England goalkeeper Joe Hart (left), Fraser Forster (right) and John Ruddy listens to coach Dave Watson during a warm-up session at St George's Park, Burton in October 2013. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire. England goalkeeper Joe Hart (left), Fraser Forster (right) and John Ruddy listens to coach Dave Watson during a warm-up session at St George's Park, Burton in October 2013. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Monday, February 17, 2014
6:30 AM

Former Norwich City goalkeeper Fraser Forster has hit back at England legend Peter Shilton about his World Cup hopes, with some help from Canaries goalkeeper coach Dave Watson.

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England's Joe Hart (C), Fraser Forster (3rd L) and John Ruddy walk out for training with goalkeeping coach Dave Watson (4th L) at Arsenal's London Colney Training Ground in October 2013. Picture: Action Images / John Sibley
LivepicEngland's Joe Hart (C), Fraser Forster (3rd L) and John Ruddy walk out for training with goalkeeping coach Dave Watson (4th L) at Arsenal's London Colney Training Ground in October 2013. Picture: Action Images / John Sibley Livepic

Celtic stopper Forster has set a new Scottish Premier League record by keeping his 12th consecutive clean sheets in the league.

The 25-year-old made his England debut in a 2-0 friendly loss to Chile at Wembley last November, with City’s John Ruddy not getting the chance to add to his one cap, watching Forster from the substitutes’ bench.

The 6ft 7in stopper got his fledgling career up and running by helping the Canaries win the League One title in 2009/10, when on loan from Newcastle.

He then spent two seasons on loan at Celtic before a £2.5m move in the summer of 2012 and has forced his way into Roy Hodgson’s England squad with top performances in the Champions League.

England goalkeeping coach Dave Watson trains with John Ruddy during a training session at London Colney, Hertfordshire. in November 2013. Nick Potts/PA Wire.England goalkeeping coach Dave Watson trains with John Ruddy during a training session at London Colney, Hertfordshire. in November 2013. Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Yet Shilton, England’s most-capped player with 125 caps, feels that is not enough to guarantee Forster a place alongside Joe Hart in this summer’s World Cup squad.

“I don’t want to knock Scottish football but if Forster was playing for a Premier League club week in week out and getting tested he’d be in a better position than just standing between the sticks for Celtic and having very little to do,” Shilton said.

Forster is thought to be battling with Ruddy and West Brom’s Ben Foster for one of the three goalkeeper slots.

He is not worried by Shilton’s comments though as he believes the England management, including Norwich goalkeeping coach Watson, know what he is capable of.

England goalkeeper Fraser Forster (left) leaves the field dejected after the 2-0 friendly loss to Chile at Wembley in November 2013, with goalkeeping coach Dave Watson. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.England goalkeeper Fraser Forster (left) leaves the field dejected after the 2-0 friendly loss to Chile at Wembley in November 2013, with goalkeeping coach Dave Watson. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

“Dave Watson is England’s goalkeeper coach, he’s also at Norwich, and he’s been spot-on with me,” Forster told the Daily Mail. “I think everyone down south knows Celtic is a massive club.”

The battle between the keepers is set to heat up in the coming months ahead of Hodgson making his World Cup selections.

Ruddy is currently well placed for keeping his place in Hodgson’s squad, as only five keepers have kept more clean sheets than him in the Premier League this season, despite City’s mixed season.

The former Everton man has kept nine clean sheets and played every minute of City’s 26 league matches so far this season, conceding 39 goals.

Only Cardiff City’s David Marshall, another former Norwich player, has conceded more (43) so far but the pair have also had to face the most shots in the Premier League this season.

Scottish stopper Marshall has had 449 shots fired at him and Ruddy 412, both considerably more than the next highest, Aston Villa’s Brad Guzan with 340.

It is sure to be a close-fought battle between Forster, Ruddy and Foster for the two spots supporting Hart, but the Celtic star is confident he is in with a good shot.

“I’ve obviously read Peter Shilton’s comments but, in my eyes, I got the opportunity to get into the England squad through being at Celtic and my first England cap while playing for Celtic,” Forster continued.

“So I don’t see it being a problem playing in Scotland. International football is obviously a step up in level, but that is the case whatever league you’re playing in.

“I’m convinced that I can make it to the World Cup. You’ve got to be. I would love to be on that plane. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of a World Cup finals in Brazil.

“It would be something special and a fantastic way to finish the season. But you can only do what you can do, play as well as I can for Celtic and hope that is enough in the end.

“I have to continue to put the performances in here and hope everything else takes care of itself. If you’re playing as well as you can for your club, then that will be watched and noted.”

18 comments

  • I envy your seeing The Big `O`, Steely. I was due to see him during that UK tour when he had to return to USA because of the house fire tragedy. So I`ve never seen him except on Top of the Pops or Satuday Club (or Ready Steady Go??). I have heaps of his music on vinyl & CD, plus some videos including `The Fastest Guitar Alive`, his starring role in a truly dreadful film that had been turned down by Elvis. Also have it on VHS. An acquaintance was visiting the States for her nephew`s Bar Mitzvah and she transferred the fillum from Betamax for me. It is equally dire in both formats, but Roy`s voice was as sweet as ever when he got to sing. He certainly couldn`t act!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

  • Brew - was Watson ever a keeper at any level ? He looks about as tall as you and I.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Forster should be shown Shiltons comments and Norwich should offer Celtic a price that they can't refuse and get Forster here as soon as possible. One of the best keepers I have ever seen at City. He should never have been let go.

    Report this comment

    goldie

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Fulham may be imploding, but they'll still beat Norwich on 12th April. 'Twas ever thus. Norwich have got more chance of winning the boat race 6 days earlier. Cue puns and analogies with a boat race theme........none spring to mind. I blame the Shiraz. Help me out here, Brewer........assuming you've done mardling with Steely about the Light Programme.

    Report this comment

    Barking Wise

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • I hadn`t realised Mr. Clare- "hasn`t that little jockey chap, who has more talent in his jockeys than I have in my open c¬otch studded lederhosen got god-awful teeth"- Balding had taken over the Christ Channel from Aled (Is Jones ALWAYS aled up?). It`s bad enough that Wogan has been replaced with the prurient Chris Evans. It`ll be Ken Bruce for the chop next, mark my worrrds. I just wish Brian Matthew an extended run on `Sounds of the Sixties`. Apart from my kosher mate Brian, the others are a load of Celts. Clear Baldrick is banal.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Thanks for the info re Watson ,Brew. The other players next to him must be giants. Re. Aled Jones yes it was boring stuff but is even worse now Ms. Balding is presenting it. Seems to have a pro g@y ,anti male agenda most of the time. Typical BBC stuff. We now wake up of a Sunday to R4's Sunday Service.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Didn't realise Brian was kosher. I think the late (great) David Jacobs might have been and Sam Costa and David Kossoff. I was a regular listener to the David Jacobs collection last thing on a Sunday. Also Sarah Kennedy was cast aside for making one or two un p.c. comments. No free speech on that channel only banality.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Apologies for the repetition - not like me at all.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Btw, Steely, as they might say in the Emerald Isle, you are not repetiitious at all, at all. Learned that from a parking warden in Eire. It seems, if there is a triple yellow line, you cannot park at all, at all, at all.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Goldie, I think Lambo did try up until the last possible moment to keep Forster, but Newcastle would not play ball. So Gorbalschev took a punt on Ruddy. In truth, I was not impressed by JR at first - `flappy hands`, slow getting down to low shots, indecisive. But he had spent a lot of time bench-warming and on loan. Until last year`s enforced break, he looked the best England `keeper. He`s gone backwards a bit this season. Then, what player hasn`t?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Barking Wijs; I suggest you get in touch with Dubai Canary. He does a nice line in Yabba Abu Dhabi Elixir - much more efficaceous than Shiraz, Sirrah! Not quite as good as Lily the Pink`s Medicinal Compound, but close. I suppose that`s a kind of Gallows humour.... Je Vriend, Gek. PS. I hope that put a smile on the old Boat Race.. Oar maybe not. Hope I`ve not Coxed up that attempt, `cos it was a load of Rowlocks. Anyway, I fancy a Crab for my dinner, so must go and Catch one. It`s good to live on the Surrey Side of the street. You do the Middlesex stuff, Blaffen, my brain hurts now.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

  • Yes, Brian is one of us. Terrific sense of humour, born in Coventry, where I received my later education. He played several requests for me on SotS and even read out my reminiscences of the Singing Postman, including his supporting Cream at a College concert. Strange Brew, that. Brian is a true Gentleman but not a gentile man. I treasure the signed photos I still have. Evans is trefa. Likewise Balding.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • I`ve done my homework, Steely. Watson played over 200 games for Barnsley, including being 1st choice `keeper in their single year in the Premiership. He won a few England U-21 Caps. Ironically, he sustained a career-ending injury playing against Norwich in 2001 (I think). He`s certainly not tall by modern measures - only 5` 11". That still towers `way over me, though! Good progs on BBC4 last night - a lot about Neil Sedaka (never a fan, but what a successful writer\performer) and a bit about the early Rock `n` Rollers; Gerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley et al. In an interview, it was clear that Saint Cliff Richard didn`t `get` the innuendo (blatant, or what?) in Berry`s song "Riding along in my automobile`. What would young Harold Webb have made of `My ding-a-ling`? Such fun.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Thanks for the info re Watson ,Brew. The other players next to him must be giants. Re. Aled Jones yes it was boring stuff but is even worse now Ms. Balding is presenting it. Seems to have a pro g@y ,anti male agenda most of the time. Typical BBC stuff. We now wake up of a Sunday to R4's Sunday Service.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • I don`t think Watson even needs to break JR`s finger this time. He`s slipped to 4th in the pecking order now Ben Foster has deigned to return. Woy will probably take Hart, Foster and Forster. Maybe Watson will break Big Fraser`s finger this time? Or steal Hart`s dandruff ointment.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • Why should he help Forster, he will replace Ruddy, as will Foster

    Report this comment

    Derek McDonald

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • I don`t know, Steely. He looks a bit like a hybrid of Jurgen Klinsmann and Aled Jones (in his youthful flying with snowmen phase - before he became a happy-clappy, radio broadcasting sky pilot). The most depressing Sunday morning lie-in fare imaginable. I digress. I will Wiki Watson! Btw, Joe Hart must be joint favourite with Ben Foster. Fwaser Forster and John Wuddy are at an obvious disadvantage. A chance for Declan Rudd? Oh, silly me, of course not. ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • You were lucky to catch Cream ,strange. I read a book about them and of course,they hated each other. Baker (sounded like a thoroughly nasty piece of work) once pulled a knife on Bruce. On another occasion he showed him a gun. If you listen to the 'live' version of Crossroads ,then Baker drums for so long to prevent Bruce coming in. All good stuff. I did see the Big O live in one of those shows where each act played one song. They might have been miming to the record. Cliff, Tommy Roe and Chris Montez were also on the bill. Back to football, Fulham imploding.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Monday, February 17, 2014

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