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The stats that prove Joe Hart has turned things around at Man City

Joe Hart

Joe Hart has been in impressive form since returning to the Manchester City starting line-up.

But that was not the case so long ago for the England goalkeeper, as growing concerns led to Manuel Pellegrini dropping him from the City first XI for an extended period.

Hart began to make an increasing amount of key errors during vital games and often looked demotivated, with many arguing a lack of competition had made the 26-year-old develop a sense of complacency.

PlayerTeamPosGood High Claim / appsSaves / appsError Lead To Goal / appsPunches / appsAppsMins
Joe Hart Man City GK 0.78 2.11 0.33 0.56 9 810

A look at the Opta stats from Hart's first nine Premier League games of the season (before he was dropped) helps quantify some of the City stopper's initial failings this season.

With less than one good high claim a match on average, Hart was, first of all, vulnerable from crosses. It was a similar case from set-pieces, with Hart demonstrating an even lower rate of punches per match, while his 2.11 saves per game would be dwarfed by several of the division's top goalkeepers.

The most worrying - and high-profile - statistic, however, is the amount of errors that led directly to goals. Indeed, the 26-year-old made three of these in the early part of the campaign, most famously against Chelsea, a mistake that led to a 2-1 loss against their arch rivals.

Pellegrini was thus forced to act - and resting the England goalkeeper proved a masterstroke.

NameTeamPosGood High Claim / appsSaves / appsError Lead To Goal / appsPunches / appsAppsMins
Joe Hart Man City GK 1.44 3.44 0 1.00 9 810

Since his return, Hart has also played nine games. But the difference is eye-catching.

In that time, the City stopper has made no errors that have led directly to goals, made double the amount of good high claims on average - and almost doubled his amount of punches per game, too. The 23-year-old, moreover, has vastly improved on his rate of saves per game.

So it looks like Man City have their real first-choice goalkeeper back, with Hart no doubt needing to be at his best in the games to come this season. His upturn in form might just prove crucial in the hunt for silverware.

image: © illarterate

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