It would perhaps be worthwhile to hear Alan Pardew’s views on the form of the Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster. Before the Newcastle United manager was forced to accept the ignominy of reporting to old rootin' tootin' Joe Kinnear, his club’s omnipresent director of football, one assumes Pardew was in on the act of sanctioning the sale of Forster to Celtic for only £2 million last year. You can add another £10m to that figure if or when the Scottish champions decide to sell the 6ft 7in 'wall'.
Pardew was scathing in his criticism of his Newcastle predecessor Chris Hughton’s decision to initially loan Forster to Celtic in the 2010/2011 season. He appeared hell-bent on ensuring the player would never return to Scotland on his watch.
"I think he's coming back to a completely different level of football, I'll tell you that now,” said Pardew. “We have watched that division and watched him all year. We've been very disappointed with the quality of the games, other than the occasional Rangers versus Celtic game. And even some of those have been poor, if I'm honest. He is coming to a completely different level of football."
Such ignorant comments were all the more bizarre when one considers Newcastle’s Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul had spent time on loan at Scottish side Falkirk during his rise to regular football at St James' Park that ironically prompted the departure of Forster, a figure apparently deemed 'surplus to requirements'.
We all make mistakes in life. Pardew’s comments now appear as outdated as the concept of the Celtic goalkeeper being first choice for England. Such an idea only seems like common sense if we are basing selection on form. Watching the Champions League is always an education, a litmus test of true class.
Forster has looked like an England goalkeeper in waiting since repelling Lionel Messi and Barcelona as Celtic completed an astonishing 2-1 win over the Spanish champions last November. Neil Lennon's team lost 1-0 in the Celtic Park rematch on Tuesday, but Forster was again in splendid form to illustrate why the Spanish media dubbed him 'La Gran Muralla' - The Great Wall.
Forster's candidacy to win his first caps for the key World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro next Friday and Poland a week on Tuesday was strengthened by Joe Hart’s obvious failings last night against Bayern Munich.
Hart let a Franck Ribery shot from distance somehow elude him before his hands turned to vapour when Arjen Robben helped himself to a third Bayern goal that Hart should have halted. He was also useless in trying to cut down Thomas Mueller for the second if we want to be really choosy.
"You have to say Joe Hart's got to do better again at that near post. That's twice he's been beaten there tonight. He'll be disappointed again," said the England assistant coach Gary Neville.
Unlike Forster against Barca, Hart’s performance was not one for the ages. It is also not a one-off.
Hart was culpable in letting James Morrison's shot slip through his grasp in England's 3-2 friendly win over Scotland in August. Like Ribery, the pace of the shot rather than direction did for him.
He has looked sluggish in City's defeats at Cardiff City and Aston Villa. He has been a man on the slide for the best part of a year. His best handling skills have been displayed in a lucrative Head and Shoulders advert.
Not only should Forster be included in Roy Hodgson's squad when it is named later today (12.30pm BST), he should be viewed as a serious option to start as a reward for his consistency.
Having defied Messi 11 months ago, Forster made stops from Barca's Neymar and Alexis Sanchez that promoted the feeling that here is somebody a bit special. Celtic once had an outstanding English goalkeeper in Peter Latchford in the 1970s and 1980s, but his national prospects dried up when he left West Bromwich Albion to head north.
The problem Forster faces is that he is English which tends to see him viewed dimly for rather unconvincing reasons when playing outside of the Premier League. Like Forster, John Ruddy, the other goalkeeper in the picture with Ben Foster injured, was farmed out to various lower league clubs by his parent club Everton including a season at Motherwell in Scotland in 2009. It is only during time spent at Norwich City has he been deemed sharp enough for England.
England managers tend to be seduced by the badge, by the league rather than the individual. Wearing the Manchester City shirt in the Premier League is more acceptable to a rabid local media than donning a Celtic one in the Scottish Premiership.
If Hodgson is keen to find out how much Forster is tested in Scotland, he should study his save from a Jennison Myrie-Williams attempt during a Scottish League Cup match against St Johnstone three years ago. It is one of many such moments.
Hart has not developed fully as a goalkeeper despite usurping Shay Given at Manchester City. This is perhaps not Peter Shilton versus Ray Clemence, but he should be forced to joust fairly with Forster for the number one position rather than be awarded blind loyalty.
One suspects Hodgson is not of a mind to risk such a change, but is Hart a safer pair of gloves?
Steve McClaren once opted for Scott Carson ahead of Paul Robinson in England's decisive qualifying match against Croatia for Euro 2008. Carson's blunders saw England lose 3-2 costing them their place in the finals, and McClaren his job. One fears Hodgson is a bit too staid to opt for common sense despite being at the Etihad Stadium to witness Hart sporting a hangdog look.
Choosing Hart above Forster on form makes about as much sense as Sven-Goran Eriksson's decision to opt against choosing Darren Bent for England’s World Cup squad in 2006 while selecting the teenage Theo Walcott.
Bent was the top English goalscorer in the Premier League with 18 goals for unheralded Charlton in 2005/2006. Walcott had yet to feature for Arsenal in the Premier League. Goalkeeper David James had played more minutes as a striker for Manchester City, but Eriksson chose Walcott as a 'wild card'. And he never got a sniff with the 'Golden Generation ' in Germany.
It seems likes one of the most wasteful decisions relating to national selection in recent times.
Nothing worthwhile in life comes easy. When you are playing for Celtic in unfashionable environs it becomes doubly difficult, but would make it taste all the sweeter for Forster against some sniffy attitudes. Why should he play for England ahead of Hart? As the City keeper's agent told Head and Shoulders: because he's worth it.