Writer: Bluey Armstrong VMC Newsdesk
Date:Thursday April 8 2010
Our focus is now firmly upon City's next crucial game at home to mid table Birmingham City. However, Brum will have one noteable absentee...
Manchester City's brilliant young goalkeeper Joe Hart who has excelled for Alex McLeish's dogged side this season will not be allowed to face The Citizens under the terms of his season long loan to the Midlands Blues.
Hart's future both immediate and long term is a hot topic across English football right now. Will he fly to South Africa with England and will he return to Manchester this summer or stay on in Birmingham?
Roberto Mancini has indicated that he will speak to Hart this summer about what happens next.
Here's how Sunday's rival bosses perceive Joe's situation:
'At the moment, the chances of Joe coming back next season are slim. Manchester City haven't made their mind up on the matter. I'm sure if they got into the Champions League, they might want to keep Joe. But, saying that, he's a number one goalkeeper now and I know he wouldn't be happy sitting on the bench. That's something, if Manchester City decide to keep Joe, that they are going to have to deal with.'
'We have a very good goalkeeper at the club in Shay Given. Shay and Joe Hart are two of the best in the Premier League, and it is important to have two good goalkeepers. The Premier League season is long, and if you are playing in the Champions League, as well as the FA Cup and the League Cup, then you need the players - you need two top goalkeepers.
'It is important that I speak with Joe in the weeks after the Premier League finishes, then we will see about next season. He has worked very well at Birmingham and he has developed. Joe could be at the World Cup - he is a good, young, strong goalkeeper. Capello knows him very well now, and if he decides on Joe, then that is a good choice. I'm happy for Joe that he's doing so well but I'm also pleased that he cannot play against us on Sunday!'
In our latest VMC Poll we asked:
"Will Joe Hart sit on the bench if he returns to City next season?"
Here's how our Vital Network people voted:
He should go out for another season on loan 57%
He should come back and fight for a place 28%
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Date:Thursday April 8 2010
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