Joe Hart: A concern for Manchester City & England
The England international's poor form is worrying for club & country
In Euro 2012, Joe Hart resonated with confidence as his top notch performances helped lead England to a respectable quarter-final appearance.
But since then the England number one has dipped in form, dramatically. His horrific performance at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester City's recent lost to Bayern Munich spoke for itself, despite Manuel Pellegrini's assertion that he would not speak about any individuals.
But his poor performance did not need further restating. With unconvincing attempts at saves in all three of Bayern's goals, Hart looks like a shadow of the world-class 'keeper he once was.
His handling has been poor and his shot-stopping has been just as dreadful. With suggestions that Manchester City were looking to sign Iker Casillas in the transfer window, it is clear why they may have gone for him.
Hart is not a good goalkeeper.
And this thought should worry Manchester City and England supporters alike. Teams who are going to challenge for the English Premier League title or try to make a solid run at the World Cup need a good goalkeeper between the sticks to provide stability.
Tottenham found this out the hard way, as the eccentric Gomes hindered their chances for getting into a spot in Europe.
Now it is happening for Man City and Hart. What should be relatively routine saves have become regularly occurring errors for the England goalkeeper.
Going back to last season, it was his error that led to an Adam Johnson goal as City was beaten 1-0 at the Stadium of Light. It was a major blow to City's title chances.
For country in an important rivalry game against Scotland it was his unconvincing effort that led to a James Morrison goal that gave the Scots an early lead.
And then against Bayern Munich his feeble efforts gave up three goals and led towards a 3-1 thumping at the Etihad.
The list of mistakes keeps on growing.
It is clear that Hart is not the same keeper he once was, and may need some competition at club if he is to gain back the form that led to his excellent Euro 2012 performance.
Otherwise, Man City and England might have to settle for disappointment again as their goalkeeper lacks the ability to play at the top level.
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