Football

Joe Hart must prove himself to Pellegrini

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During Manchester City's 2011/12 campaign, Joe Hart was one of the most influential players in the squad. He was rock in between the sticks, and made several world-class saves that won City points and eventually the Premier League.

Two seasons on and the England international is in a very different position following a series of high-profile mistakes for both club and country.

Howlers at the back end of last season against Southampton and West Ham were seen as a phase every goalkeeper may suffer.

However, they have just carried on this campaign in games against Scotland, Cardiff City, Aston Villa and Bayern Munich.

I always feel sorry for goalkeepers who make a terrible blunder. If a 'keeper makes a mistake it is a likely goal and is on his record forever; yet it a striker misses an easy chance it is forgotten about in a few weeks.

Unfortunately for Hart, the mistakes have not just been a one off. His latest mix up came against Chelsea with defender Matija Nastasic, which allowed Fernando Torres an easy tap in, in a top-of-the-table clash.

Hart has now lost his place to number two Costel Pantilimon in the City line-up and faces the threat of losing his place in the England side. Manager Roy Hodgson has given Hart three months to regain his place City side if he doesn't regain his place at City.

And to further matters, there are strong rumours that City manager Manuel Pelligrini is lining up a replacement for Hart.

If Roberto Mancini was in charge, Hart would likely have been number two at the Etihad Stadium this season. Him and assistant David Platt reportedly nearly sealed a deal to sign Asmir Begovic from Stoke City.

It seems Pellegrini's patience may have ran out with Hart. And for the England star, it couldn't have come at a worse time.

There are three very likely replacements for Hart. The first is Barcelona 'keeper Victor Valdes, who is out of contract at the end of the season and is unlikely to sign a new contract.

The second is Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas. He fell out of favour at Madrid under Jose Mourinho to Diego Lopez. The Spaniard has expressed his frustration of not playing regular football this year after not playing a single game in La Liga.

Julio Cesar of QPR could be the final target for Pelligrini. The Brazilian number one looked set for a move away from Loftus Road after they were relegated; however, the high wages he demanded seemed to be the reason why he couldn't secure a move away.

Cesar was inspirational in some of QPR's games last year and stopped potential 'cricket scores' in many a game.

He has struggled to gain a regular place under new manager Harry Redknapp and with the World Cup fast approaching, he must get away from QPR to cement his position as number one for Brazil.

If Pellegrini goes after any of these shot stoppers, especially in the January transfer window, Hart must move from the Ethihad stadium. If he wants to be Roy Hodgson's first choice, he will not become it by sitting on the bench when goalies like Frazier Foster and John Ruddy are playing week in week out.

It is only Hart who can decide his own fate. He has two games for England against Chile and Germany to really impress Pellegrini. Two solid performances may convince his club manager that he's good enough - and that his mistakes are behind him. 

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester City
Joe Hart

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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