Hart performance justifies Pellegrini's bravery - and it is good news for England

Joe Hart was magnificent for Manchester City against Crystal Palace at the weekend.

Yesterday saw Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart produce easily his best performance of the season - as he kept a rampant Crystal Palace side at bay during a tense tie at The Etihad Stadium.

The fact he did so out of one eye made the performance even more miraculous.

He collided heavily with Cameron Jerome in the first half of the game. But after some Vaseline, a hug with his stricken former Birmingham City team-mate and looking like he had just gone 12 rounds with Carl Froch he gave the bench a nod - which saw Costel Pantilimon given the signal to sit back down.

And he went on to have a tremendous game - with a save from a Joel Ward strike in particular catching the eye.

So it seems that he is back to his best - and perfect timing as well with just six months before England take on the world at the World Cup.

One area where England are going to need a star next season will be between the sticks - and Hart is still one of the world’s best when on best form.

But for the past 18 months his form has been sketchy. Mistakes and an over-confident attitude clearly caught up with the player - and when he was dropped earlier in the season it was the right thing to do.

So England might just end up being thankful to a Chilean come summertime.

Manuel Pellegrini took the decision to give Hart time off, to contemplate his poor form and to act as a wake-up call.

It seems to have worked. Before then Hart waltzed around with an arrogance of a player who could not be dropped - who for club and country was unstoppable.

Now he looks like his confident best - knowing that every game needs to see him at 100% in order to maintain a number one spot.

No doubt about it, if Hart has a sensational summer, England will have a Chilean’s bravery to thank.

image: © illarterate

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