Following Manchester City’s 3-2 defeat at the hands of Cardiff City yesterday, rumours abounded that former Blues’ assistant manager David Platt had painted an interesting picture of an alternative reality.
Reports claimed that during his pundit role on Al Jazeera television he said, “If Mancini and I were still at Man City this year Joe Hart wouldn’t be there. We made a decision to sign Asmir Begovic.”
While the Bosnian ‘keeper’s current club Stoke City may have had something to say about that, it was an enlightening revelation following Hart’s less than convincing display against the Bluebirds.
And yet it was false, because Platt wasn’t even working yesterday, as he revealed this morning on Twitter:
Surprised to hear about my quotes on Hart today. On holiday! Did Liverpool v Stoke last week and said we liked Begovic but had Joe Hart.— David Platt (@majorgolfevents) August 26, 2013
So the quotes aren’t true…but does that make the prospect of swapping Hart for Begovic any less sensible?
To say Hart has suddenly “lost it” would be wrong. This is after all a man who was the custodian of the gloves when City conceded just 34 goals all season – the lowest in the Premier League.
But at the same time it comes as a surprise – to me at least – that Begovic remains at the Britannia Stadium, given that he is one of the league’s most consistent ‘keepers.
Liverpool’s move for Simon Mignolet has already been fully vindicated. But Arsenal’s failure to make a move for Begovic is baffling in the extreme.
And with Hart’s form still well below his outstanding best, Roberto Mancini’s hypothetical move for the Stoke stopper makes far more sense than many transfers that actually happen.
Following Hart’s poor showing for England against Scotland earlier this month, Manuel Pellegrini stood up for him.
“Everyone can make an error in one match, but personally I have a lot of trust in Joe Hart,” he said.
The player himself has vowed to regain his best form for both club and country, but he is yet to do so.
And while Pellegrini’s summer signings have been both impressive and necessary, will he be left to rue not making the one that has suddenly made the headlines despite being swiftly rejected as make-believe?
Do you think Hart can rediscover his best form or should City move for Begovic?
image: © ronnie macdonald