McLeish takes credit for Hart rise

Published Add your comment

Football News

Joe Hart's spell at Birmingham was vital to him reaching the level required to be England's number one, according to his former boss Alex McLeish.

The Manchester City star spent last season on loan at St Andrew's, where his superb performances were key to the Blues achieving a ninth-placed finish in the Premier League and earned him a place in Fabio Capello's World Cup squad.

Hart has now established himself as England's top goalkeeper, but McLeish revealed: "We looked at Joe Hart's game last year after the first few games. I spoke to (Birmingham goalkeeping coach) Dave Watson and said 'there are a few things we've simply got to work on'."

He added: "At the time, one of the things was that Joe was punching everything.

"I said 'Joe, you are 6ft 4in tall, you're the only guy who can use your hands in the box'. Dave, myself and Joe saw some video stuff and we thought it was a wee habit he had just got into.

"We don't know where he acquired it but it was in his game and maybe that is why Mark Hughes decided to go for Shay Given (at Manchester City)."

McLeish recalled: "In our next game, Maik Taylor played against Man City, when Joe couldn't play, had a shut-out and rightly felt he should be in the next game.

"I said 'no, Joe is out by default, he is back in, he is my number one for the season'.

"Joe took a lot of confidence from that and the fact Dave had been working with him in that interim two weeks between the Man City game and the next one.

"I remember a big cross coming into the box and Joe took it, and I could see the chest puffing out and the head going up and he never looked back and is now England's current first choice."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Premier League

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


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

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again