Football

Manchester City thrashing vindicates Joe Hart drop

Hart has been unimpressive this season. (©GettyImages)
Hart has been unimpressive this season. (©GettyImages).

Joe Hart was left out of Manchester City's 7-0 annihilation of Norwich City yesterday as Costel Pantilimon was preferred to the England No.1.

Pantilimon will surely keep his place for the visit of CSKA Moscow on Tuesday night.

This decision has been mooted for a while with Hart making numerous errors that have been costly; none more so than the mistake in the last minute against Chelsea last weekend.

Depending on how long Hart faces on the sidelines, this may hamper his position as England No.1. It is too soon to tell if this will be the case but it could be a dilemma for Roy Hodgson as there are not many other options in this department. 

John Ruddy was in goal for Norwich yesterday and conceded seven against a buoyant Man City attack.

Ben Foster of West Bromwich Albion, who has gone from not wanting to represent his country to being interested since Hodgson's appointment, is good but not world class as Joe Hart has been in the past.

The only real competition I would see on the horizon would be Celtic's Fraser Forster.

Forster has impressed in Champions League games this season and also last season against Barcelona.

The one question mark over him seems to be a case of football club snobbery - some have the opinion he must be playing in the Premier League to get a look in which is a ludicrous suggestion.

If you are good enough you should get a chance.

Fraser Forster has also been the topic of some transfer speculation that could see Manuel Pellegrini make a bid for Celtic No.1 in January which could see Joe Hart's days numbered at the Etihad.

Joe Hart, who was first given his chance by former manager Roberto Mancini at the start of the 2010/2011 campaign, has gone on to make 173 appearances for the club but has only kept three clean sheets in last nine games and conceded 11 goals this season.

Pellegrini defended his decision to drop Joe Hart after the seven goal thrashing with some vindication.

He told reporters: "It was not easy to take this decision. Last time I was in doubt before the internationals but I thought that moment it was important to trust in Joe because the England team also needed him.

"At this moment we need a change. We are all behind him and try to recover him as soon as we can.

"I think Joe is a very important player, he is a great goalkeeper but everyone can have a bad moment in their career. He has it at this moment and I am sure he will improve with a bit of a rest."

Something similar happened last season with Arsenal last season and their treatment of Wojciech Szczesny who this season looks invigorated by his time out, Hart is still young and has time to recover his form but with Pellegrini looking at other goalkeepers Hart's time as Man City's No.1 could be drawing to an end.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
England Football
Manchester City
Joe Hart
Fraser Forster

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