Joe Hart’s performances on and off the pitch this season will have impressed Gareth Southgate, according to David Moyes.
The Potters star seems more likely to be the World Cup starter this summer. But after being dropped by Moyes in November, Hart has won back his place and was outstanding in the 1-1 draw at Chelsea.
Hart is a candidate to be at least back-up in Southgate’s squad, as Butland, Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope of Burnley lack big tournament experience.
Moyes believes the 30-year-old – on loan from champions Manchester City – being a good team player will also count in his favour if he is not No.1 choice in Russia.
“What happens is managers look at people’s characters,” said the Scot. “If you’re going to have people who are completely unhappy all the time you’re better not having them. You need to have a good spirit.
“Joe handled the situation really well. He wasn’t happy but he handled it well, he trained well, he didn’t let anything affect his work or his training, when obviously he must have been extremely disappointed.
“I’m trying not to make too big a deal about Joe’s performance, that’s what Joe has to do, that’s his job. The more I talk about it, the more I’m making it sound as though, ‘Did Joe not make good saves throughout his career?’
“Joe doing that’s no surprise — it’s what he’s done throughout his career. That’s why I said, ‘Well done’, but no more than that because that’s his job.”
Moyes said picking the England keeper was “Gareth’s job” but added: “It’s hard, because there’s a couple of very good up-and-coming young goalkeepers.
“Joe’s the one who has the medals, the caps, and been there and done it. Whereas maybe some of the others haven’t been there and done it.”
Moyes has told Marko Arnautovic to carry on winding up his former employers as long as he keeps scoring.
The one-time Potteries favourite was Public Enemy No.1 when he returned and scored at the bet365 Stadium in December after joining West Ham in the summer.
And the Austrian aimed a pointed celebration at his former boss Mark Hughes after his goal against Southampton last month.
But Moyes said he will not stop Hammers record signing Arnautovic continuing his feud with his former club.
“I let him get on with it and let him be Marko,” he added.
“All I do is say, ‘Come on, keep doing the things you’re good at.’ Do I mind if he winds people up? No, as long as he gets the results.”