England Cannot Bank On Hart

It is easy to give West Ham United's on loan keeper Joe Hart plenty of stick at the moment as he has conceed more goals than a charity team looking to lose by as many goals as possible to please their sponsors who want to see goals goals goals, the problem is Joe Hart, currently on loan from Hammers opponents on Sunday Manchester City, is supposed to be playing for a Premier League team although recent performances have been more akin to those of a Pub team, and not a very good one at that!

But is all the criticism fair and just? Well Gordon Banks thinks so."Jack Butland should be England's number one choice as keeper because Joe Hart is making terrible mistakes", said the 1966 World Cup winner. Hart has won 75 caps but former keeper Banks told BBC Sport: "I don't think he is playing well, especially when they kick it to him and he can't pick up. I see him make terrible mistakes, lots of times he is lucky they don't score."Banks, 79, would prefer to see Stoke keeper Butland start at the World Cup in Russia next summer.

Hart's stats don't make pleasant reading, since he went out on loan from all conquering Manchester City, initially for one season with Torino and subsequently this season with West Ham, Hart has conceded in excess of a staggering 2 goals per match! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that the teams Hart has played for since going out on loan have to score at least two goals per game just to stay level, essentially his presence in a team is the equivalent of gifting the opposition a two goal lead in virtually every match, or put another way Hart helps make visiting £5 Million forwards look like they are worth over £50 Million!

The exact terms of Hart's contract with West Ham are unclear, it would seem ludicrous if his appearance for every match, excluding those against his parent club, was enshrined in some form of legal clause but that seems to be the only logical conclusion, why else would Hart still be playing given his miserable performances in almost every game so far this season? It makes no sense, Slaven Billic is rumoured to have had a massive falling out with Adrian San Miguel that ended seeing Adrian benched for most of the season, even though he performed better than the now departed to Middlesbrough Darren Randolph.

However Billic is history now, it will be interesting to see how things unfold. Interestingly it was apparently David Sullivan who insisted on extending Adrian's contract, and this was done AFTER he had seen a few performances of a player he himself described as the 'best goal keeper' he had ever worked with, maybe Mr Sullivan began to notice what everyone else with a pulse had noticed for ages, namely that Hart is never going to get back to being the commanding and competent keeper that he was in the past, and unfortunately no amount of coaching or even renumeration will halt his decline. Talks of taking Hart to the London Stadium on a permanent basis have been put so far on the back burner that a millenium falcon will be required to re-open them!

Hart's had a good innings, it's a pity that he chose West Ham, or West Ham chose him, for the location where his goal keeping standards could plumb new depths, but he will console himself with the £5 million smackeroos that he will have banked for letting in his two goals a game. - Ed

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A big opportunity for Adrian to step up to the plate. Obviously, after this weekend we will be rooted to the 19th spot.
Can the team do what they did two seasons ago and pick up a point at Man City?? Highly unlikely as the midfield is really the worst in the premier division. It lacks pace and creativity, and ultimately the defence and goalkeeping are always called into question. No doubt Hart has yet to come up with an outstanding performance, and the Everton game had all the fingers pointing in his direction. At the end of the day, how much can we limit the damage that Man City are expected to heap on a team that lacks confidence of all sorts, whether it is attack or defence.

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burkie's picture

I think its the defence thats the big problem ,mind you our attack is none existent, and our midfield is fekin awful

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From this game,though can these players actually put some effort in for the loyal fans making the trip today?doubt it very much

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