Is Man City losing Joe Hart? It sure looks like the star goalkeeper may not just leave the club, but England as well.
According to a Sky Sports report, Hart is disenchanted with Manchester City and is looking to move on to a new location. Joe was not happy about being benched by the club’s manager, Josep “Pep” Guardiola, for Manchester’s first two matches this season and he expects to be gone before the summer’s end.
It’s always sad when a popular and famous player is on the outs with his long-time club. Supporters and sports writers alike always feel bad for the player, especially when he is both good and likable.
But as the saying goes, “those are the breaks.” Things are ever changing in sports, and the owners and managers of clubs need to do what they feel is in the best interest of their teams. And this is especially true for a team like Man City, which is always in the shadow of perennial English soccer champion Manchester United.
For American readers, think of the New York Mets playing as that city’s perennial second team behind the Yankees in baseball or the Los Angeles Clippers playing second to the Lakers in the NBA.
People may not be happy when a star leaves a team, but their tears are always wiped away with success, so Man City’s performance this season will determine how history views the way it is treating Joe Hart.
Hart did not get to take part in Man City’s 2-1 opening day victory over Sunderland on Saturday. Argentinian goalkeeper Willy Caballero was on the pitch for Tuesday’s Champions League qualifier, which Man City won 5-0 over Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday, as well as for the Sunday win over Sunderland.
And manager Guardiola told BBC Sport that he did not see Hart improve and change his style quickly enough to fit in with the way that Pep wants to run the club.
“I am not saying he’s not able to do it – with training he can do it, with time. But his time is now. It’s not about what happens in six months, seven months.”
Josep Guardiola, 45, has only just come to Man City this season after a successful career on the continent. The Spanish manager previously led Spain’s FC Barcelona and Germany’s FC Bayern Munchen. He won league titles with both teams, taking Barcelona to an EUFA championship, making him just the sixth person to win the European Cup as both a player and a coach.
No matter how Man City supporters feel about Hart, Guardiola certainly has a great deal of experience and success under his belt to support his decision, no matter how unpopular they may be.
It is also very tough to argue with success, and with two big wins already under his belt, it seems that Pep knows what he is doing.
Sky Sports’ Vinny O’Connor reported that Man City plans to sign Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, and he speculated as to where Hart might end up.
“There is reported interest from Sevilla in Spain but I think the preferred option would be to remain in the Premier League, and to that end, Everton could possibly be an option. Certainly, Everton are looking to bolster their goalkeeping ranks further following the acquisition of Maarten Stekelenburg, who made a decent debut against Spurs at the weekend, but Everton are looking for an established number one and [would be] interested in someone of the caliber of Joe Hart.
“But to add to that it is my understanding that there has been no formal contact between the two parties in that respect. It’s a little more than two years since he signed a new contract to keep him at the club until 2019 but it seems his time at City is coming to a premature end.”
Meanwhile, former Man City midfielder Joey Barton has slammed Pep Guardiola for the way he is treating Joe Hart. Barton made the charge against his former club in an interview with talkSport.
“It is not the club I left. The club I left and watch now are two totally different organizations. The club I played for wouldn’t have treated a player that had been a servant for as long as Joe has in the manner that it has. It is disgusting.
“He is a full international, somebody who, probably before City took the money, could have gone on to bigger and better things himself but stayed and wanted to be at City. I don’t see what he has done wrong to be treated the way he has. His attitude isn’t terrible. I don’t like this. It is common human decency, regardless of how good a coach you are. Why treat him like that?”
Barton currently plays for the Rangers.
Hart only recently posted this shirtless picture on Instagram with a positive look to the new season with the caption, “joehartofficialNew season. New challenge #ready #KAAAMMMOOONNNN.”
Hart is 29 and has appeared in matches with Birmingham, Blackpool, Tranmere, and Shrewsbury in addition to Manchester.
Joe Hart has played for Man City since 2006. He played in 350 competitions for the club in the last 10 years and has conceded a total of 347 goals in that time.
[Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images]