Joe Hart v Claudio Bravo: Analysing the goalkeepers ahead of Bravo's Manchester City arrival

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It didn't take a genius to work out Pep Guardiola's message when he dropped Joe Hart for Manchester City's opener against Sunderland.

In Hart's place stepped Willy Caballero, the chronically uninspiring Spaniard who was used as a pawn in Guardiola’s attempts to tell City's owners to get him a new goalkeeper.

The Catalan's wishes have been granted, with Barcelona's Claudio Bravo set to arrive in a £17million deal once the Spanish champions sign a replacement.


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It means England’s number one is no longer his side's first-choice. Hart, for all his leadership qualities and occasional moments of excellence, has found himself undone by Guardiola's need for a goalkeeper who is comfortable in possession.

Bravo brings with him a winning mentality, having won two La Liga titles, the Champions League, and the Copa America with Chile twice in the past two years.

We've pitted Hart and Bravo against one another to see whether the Chilean's arrival will bring an end to Hart's lengthy spell as City's number one.

The factors that will be considered include passing ability - a key to any goalkeeper wishing to play under Guardiola - as well as the stats that matter, including clean sheets and saves, over the past three league seasons.

Passing ability

Joe Hart:

Passes attempted: 1,241
Completion %: 52
Avg. pass length: 43.82 metres

Claudio Bravo:

Passes attempted: 1,694
Completion %: 76.3
Avg. pass length: 34.62 metres

It's clear that Bravo is more composed with the ball at his feet than Hart. He spent the 2013-14 season at Real Sociedad but it is when he moved to Barcelona where he really shone, completing 83.5 per cent of his passes in the past two seasons.

You've only got to look at the disparity in average pass length to notice that the Chilean is more accustomed to starting attacks with shorter passes. Hart averaged 42.8 metres in this category in 2015-16, which, in Guardiola's view, is far too high.

Manuel Neuer, his goalkeeper at Bayern Munich for the past three seasons, averaged 27.06m in average pass length in the Bundesliga last term.

Guardiola wants his goalkeepers to play short passes to his defenders. This isn't an overly difficult task but something that hasn't been a requirement of Hart in his time at Man City.

That Bravo is a natural in possession only adds to Hart's woes.

Hart 0 Bravo 1

Goalkeeping skills

Joe Hart:

Clean sheets: 42
Goals conceded: 100
Saves: 189
Saves per goal: 1.96

Claudio Bravo:

Clean sheets: 51
Goals conceded: 93
Saves: 227
Saves per goal: 2.93

Another category in which Hart cannot compete with Bravo. Last season, the Chilean conceded 22 goals yet still managed to make 68 saves; Hart allowed 36 goals and made 67 saves.

We've viewed Hart as a fine shot-stopper in recent years - among the finest England has produced - but compare him to Europe's best and his reputation certainly takes a hit.

Hart 0 Bravo 2


Joe Hart:

Defensive errors: 10
Errors leading to goals: eight

Claudio Bravo:

Defensive errors: 10
Errors leading to goals: five

Rather concerningly, mistakes have crept into Hart's game over the past year. He made four errors that led to goals for City last season and was at fault for two goals for England at Euro 2016, including allowing Gareth Bale's free-kick to swerve past him.

If City are to challenge for the Premier League, yet alone the Champions League, they're are going to need a reliable man between the sticks. It's not wrong to suggest Hart is no longer that man.

Hart 0 Bravo 3


Hart is a fine shot-stopper but the modern game requires goalkeepers who are adept with the ball at their feet. Guardiola is the biggest advocate of this, helping to evolve the position by turning Neuer into a 'sweeper-keeper' and in a decade's time we could well see goalkeepers who are as comfortable in possession as midfielders.

Though Bravo is 33, he can certainly meet Guardiola's demands for another three or four seasons while City groom his eventual replacement.

It makes perfect sense for the Citizens to buy the Barcelona man, especially for £17m. And City would even make a profit on that if they decide to sell Hart, who simply finds himself working under a management who views the goalkeeper position in an entirely unique way.

Who is the better goalkeeper: Hart or Bravo? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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England Football
Claudio Bravo
Premier League
Manchester City
Joe Hart

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