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Sep 26, 2010

Hart Of Class?

By Matt Rawlinson


Joe Hart had a fantastic season last year in the Premier League with Birmingham City, in addition he was bestowed with the honour of being voted by his fellow professionals as the best keeper last year in the division. This year, he has started the season superbly, made the Man City goalkeeper's shirt his own, kept Shay Given in the dugout and become England's custodian after the debacle of the World Cup this summer. He looks confident, has the physique, good hands, agile, controls his area and is an excellent shop stopper. He gained the plaudits with a man of the match performance at Tottenham, single handedly keeping Crouch and Defoe at bay, so much so that White "Hart" Lane was a fitting place for this performance!!

However I am slightly peturbed by the adoration of most of the football pundits , saying that he will be the England keeper for the next 10- 15 years or so. Everybody knows, especially Robert Green, that as a keeper you are only as good as your last game. Subsequently Hart made a blunder against Blackburn at Eastlands this season, when a lack of communication with Kolo Toure, meant Hart raced out of his goal and Toure stepped aside to let Kalinic in with a soft goal in a 1-1 draw.

As I said earlier,Hart had a fantastic season on loan at Birmingham, but that was with a mid table team, just recently promoted from the Championship and not expected to pull up any trees, he did make mistakes , most notably at Turf Moor , when he let a soft shot under him by Steven Fletcher in a 2-1 defeat. However this season is a different matter, after displacing Given, he is now with a team hoping, and more importantly expecting to reach the promised land of the Champions League. Any mistakes will be magnified in the goldfish bowl of Eastlands and analyzed to within an inch of their life on Match of the Day and Sky Sports.

Hart has only played 2 competitive games for his country thus far and is yet to make a mistake, whilst Robert Green, the jury is still out on the West Ham keeper after the horrific mistake against USA, a tremendous performance against Spurs at the weekend does not mask a particularly underwhelming start to the season for the Hammers number 1, who is finding it hard to cope mentally with the scars of his calamitous mistake.

Until Hart makes a mistake of this magnitude for England or in a game for Man City in a crucial game, only then will we be able to see if he is made of sterner stuff than Green and can become a better goalkeeper in the process, then maybe I would agree with all the pundits and say that everybody loves Hart.

1 comment:

Lionel RichTea said...

Totally agree - I remember that a certain Paul Robinson was destined to be England 'keeper for upwards of 10 years!