The debate over Manchester City’s Joe Hart has been raging for some time, and even after he was rested or dropped (or however you wish to interpret it) by Manuel Pellegrini, the ‘keeper remains in the headlines.
The latest person to have his say is former City and Manchester United stopper Peter Schmeichel, who has turned the focus away from the England man and on to his club manager.
Talking to BBC 5 Live, the former Danish international said of Hart, “I don’t think he’s done too much wrong.
“Sometimes things aren’t working for you, but when it’s Joe Hart it’s highlighted like he’s killed someone.
“I disagree with Pellegrini’s decision. I disagree with the whole debate about Joe Hart.”
With Costel Pantilimon expected to continue in goal for the Blues for tomorrow’s match against Sunderland, Hart may have to get used to a watching brief for a while yet.
Indeed, Pellegrini seems reticent whenever questioned about a potential return date for the 26-year-old.
But Schmeichel believes the goals City have conceded are not solely down to Hart, and thinks City have problems at the back that everyone should take equal blame for.
As a member of the goalkeepers union, the Dane was always going to stand up for his beleaguered fellow stopper. And yet he may have a point.
Pellegrini persevered with Matija Nastasic after his mix-up with Hart led to the winner against Chelsea, and the young Serb has rewarded him as a result. At the same time Pantilimon has taken Hart’s place and is surely now un-droppable until he makes a mistake that proves just as costly.
Of course Hart’s decisions were questioned more than once prior to his demotion, but in time City will need to decide if the England man can learn from previous error-riddled ‘keepers such as David de Gea and Wojciech Szczesny; or if his time as the Blues' number one will be well and truly at an end when the next transfer window slams shut.
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