Four-time Premier League golden glove winner Joe Hart played a pivotal part in Manchester City’s rise to a European super giant of a club with fantastic saves, dominance of his area and above all consistency. Standing at 6-foot-5 he helped City win two Premier league league titles, two league cups and a FA Cup and was ever present in the England team making 75 appearances since his debut in 2008.
People associated with football will remember phenomenal performances he put in for City, for example against Barcelona in March 2015 when the most feared attack in world football threw everything at him and he was equal to it.
However in past couple of years Joe Hart has been in the wilderness after a very disappointing European Championship in 2016 where England were humiliated by Iceland with Hart being heavily criticised for the second of those goals. He had also been criticised for not keeping out a Gareth Bale free kick earlier in the tournament. Both these goals were down to his left which has been pointed out as a weakness of his game recently.
With the arrival of Pep Guardiola to Manchester City in 2016 it was clear from the start his place in the side was under pressure because Guardiola uses a style of play which requires the goalkeeper to have good distribution which was never one of Hart’s strong points. With the arrival of Claudio Bravo, Hart was loaned out to Italian side Torino in which he had a mainly positive season with the odd mistake.
The following season he was loaned out to West Ham United, he started the season as there number one but after a string of poor performances lost his position in the team but got it back towards the end of the season with some good performances most noticeably away to Chelsea. Unfortunately it wasn’t good enough to get him on the plane to Russia with England with younger goalkeepers being chosen by Gareth Southgate.
Joe Hart is 31 now so his career is nowhere near over, he came out and said he was disappointed not to be picked for the World Cup, but he seems even more driven to succeed now which is something I can look forward to seeing. I have always liked him and always tried to defend him as he was the first goalkeeper I ever looked up too and I still do to this day.
Hart has now returned to Manchester City but with Ederson and Bravo looking like they are going to be the two main goalkeepers this year, what’s next? Is he going to be loaned out again or can he knuckle down in training and prove to Guardiola and all of his doubters that he’s still a top level goalkeeper and get his way back into the England set up which will be difficult after such a successful tournament. He has been included with Manchester City’s preseason tour of America which a positive sign for him. Either way he will be remembered as a Manchester City legend after his years of service for the club.