Football

Joe Hart.

Sir Alex Ferguson's comments about Joe Hart in 2012 sum up his decline

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Joe Hart had an absolute mare against Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday night.

Brighton's opener in the 10th minute was a routine free-kick and header, courtesy of Glenn Murray, and if truth be told Hart was never going to save it.

But the manner in which he dived got football fans talking on social media, because he didn't even outstretch his arms to try and stop the ball from going in.

Hart looked a beaten man from the moment he leapt to his right, which doesn't install the utmost confidence as a goalkeeper.

For Brighton's second - a 20-yard stunner from Jose Izquierdo - Hart wasn't on his toes and wasn't strong enough when he tried to palm the ball away.

Had Hart not been static, there's a good chance he would have saved Izquierdo's striker, because it wasn't heading for the top corner.

Gary Neville said as much at half-time and slammed his countryman for not doing better, although it just about summed up Hart's career at West Ham so far.

Prior to the game against Brighton, Hart had conceded the second most amount of goals in the Premier League (14), only behind Crystal Palace and Stoke City (both 18).

Hart has suffered a fall from grace in recent years that's seen him rejected by Pep Guardiola, sent to Torino in Italy on loan and most recently shipped to West Ham.

Newcastle United v West Ham United - Premier League

He's no longer wanted at Manchester City and it remains to be seen who will want to take him when the 2017/18 season finishes next May.

And to think, Hart was once rated as one of the most promising young goalkeepers in Europe.

The 30-year-old was fantastic for Birmingham during the 2009/10 campaign and when he returned to City, he was immediately made No.1.

He was so good in his youth that Manchester United were tracking him but, for one reason or another, Sir Alex Ferguson said no.

Speaking in 2012, the Scotsman expressed regret at turning down Hart and made one claim that now sounds unthinkable.

FBL-EUR-C1-BORUSSIA-DORTMUND-MANCHESTER-CITY

According to Fergie, Hart was England's best goalkeeper for the last 20 years, which included David Seaman and David James.

"I could have bought Joe Hart for £100,000 so we all make mistakes," said Ferguson five years ago.

"If you look at the England goalkeeper situation for the last 20 years, I would think he's easily the best."

Ferguson's comments just about sum up Hart's steep decline, from Man Utd target and England's best goalkeeper to a liability at West Ham in the space of five years. So sad.

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