Manchester City custodian Joe Hart has been undisputed number 1 goal keeper for his club and country for some time now. But recently his performances have been inconsistent and some costly errors has put his position under scrutiny.
England manager Roy Hodgson had decided to watch him closely after a silly error against Scotland recently. Still Hart hasn't improved and showed his vulnerability in Manchester City's match against Cardiff City by gifting the second goal which proved vital in City's loss.
He has been error prone from some time now. He is looking the shadow of the player who held of the challenges from Shay Given and Kasper Schmeichel to become Manchester City's number 1 goalkeeper.
Hart had committed several high profile blunders last season and has been inconsistent til then. But the lack of alternatives helped him to keep his goalkeeping gloves still now. England might be considering their options, but in reality his nearest competitors are still some way off.
The same might not be the case with his club Manchester City, they can afford the riches to land any player they want. During former manager Roberto Mancini's tenure Citizens had planned to target Stoke City custodian Asmir Begovic to strengthen their defence. But the managerial changes at summer prevented this from happening.
Whether Begovic is better than Hart is a topic for another discussion. Hart considered as a top goalkeeper in Premier League nowadays and would have provided stiff competition for Hart.
After seeing the performances of Hart on Sunday, even Pellegrini might be thinking of bringing a new player. Be it Iker Casillas or Begovic, a top goalkeeper challenging for your position might get the best out of any player.
Real Madrid keeper Diego Lopez is performing at his best and has been kept on his toes by former number 1 Casillas. Similarly bringing in Begovic might change the fortunes of Hart as well. If Begovic performs better than Hart, then it will be his position to loose and Hart might find it hard to displace him as well.
On the other hand, Begovic's presence and competition might force Hart to raise his game. Knowing that there is no chance for a failure, it might get the best out of Hart who will not be ready to put his national team position in jeopardy by sitting on the bench.
Hart hasn't faced much competition from Costel Pantilimon until now. In England set up also, there weren't much doubts about the starter whenever he was available.
Does this resulted in his falling standards and form? Will a new signing improve his performances? Is it time for City to look beyond Joe Hart?
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