Why Joe Hart must change his attitude to stay Manchester City and England's number 1?

Joe Hart

The keeper has walked into teams over the last few years but does his cockiness risk the future performances of both his club and country?

Around the world there are a large number of football fans that will tell you Joe Hart is a world class keeper, whether they be Manchester City fans, England fans or just football fans and they are all right.

Over the last few seasons Hart has established himself as the number one for both club and country, but is that down to his ability or the fact that he has nobody to push him on either front?

But what has happened to the man I speak of in the opening?

So far this season the 26 year-old has looked average at best, and at times looked almost 'cocky' at the fact that he walks into both teams, unquestioned, unchallenged and unfazed by others, but this could be the very reason why his form has been so poor.

For me, watching England in their World Cup qualifier last night against the Ukraine was a nervous experience, the Three Lions could not afford to lose and but for a standout performance by Chelsea's Gary Cahill we would have done.

Cahill saved Hart numerous times, such was the lack of communication the shot-stopper had, he lacked discipline, lacked the ability to command and on the one occasion that he did shout a four-letter tirade of abuse towards the centre-back it was he who was at fault.

Maybe people will say that without John Terry at the back the defence looked out of sorts and Hart was put under more pressure, but that's not the case due the aforementioned performance of Cahill and it is also worth noted that Everton's Phil Jagelka put in a decent shift.

Hart is now classed as the best keeper of his generation and the best that England have had in years, and maybe he is, but I for one don't think that England have struggled between the post as much as others.

Think about it?

There was Arsenal's David Seaman, with whom many England fans think was the last real success, he was a brilliant player, with a commanding presence and he led from the back, he was at the core of everything good Arsenal created during the 1990's and early 00's and was at his brilliant best when England last reached the semi-final of a major competition, Euro '96.

Then there was David James, who at the time of his national service was arguably the best shot-stopper in the league, he kept Portsmouth in the Premier League and was influential in the sides FA Cup triumph. People often labelled him 'calamity' but in fairness to him he probably made 10 high profile errors in nearly 1000 games, not a bad return and far better than some others of his time.

Lastly we had Paul Robinson, a keeper who tasted success with Leeds and Tottenham and rightly got the England job, his problem was not that he was a poor keeper, he just played at a time when expectation was too high and the so called 'golden generation' failed to fire, being dumped out of the World Cup and failing to qualify for Euro 2008, but a terrible keeper he was not.

These three examples show the contrasting fortunes of the men between the sticks and I truly hope that Hart can shake his poor form and become a success story, but unless he is challenged or become far more disciplined then he could find time in the squad difficult, the way his form, is reflecting on the national team, I envisage him becoming a scapegoat for yet another failure, and that's not fair because he is a top player, perhaps just a little rusty.

image: © illarterate

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