Manchester City - What To Do With Joe Hart
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What To Do With Joe Hart

Phil McLaggan sent Vital Manchester City the following.

As Joe Hart gets ready to sit out this weekend's game against his parent club his Manchester City future is as up in the air as it was when he left for his stint at Birmingham.

As everybody knows, his spell at St Andrews has been a roaring success and manager, Alex McLeish has made no secret of his desire to keep hold of the young England goalkeeper. 'If I can't get Hart permanently, would I settle for another loan season.'

The praise does not stop there - more recently and after the draw with Liverpool at St Andrews on Sunday, McLeish claimed, 'At the moment Joe is sublime' and he continued with a hint at Hart's own mindset. 'Joe sees himself as a number one. It would devastate him if he had to sit on the bench next season.'

The last point is an intriguing one. If, as is quite possible and Hart does come back to CoMS, a return to being City's number one is highly unlikely. Yes, he has been an integral part of Birmingham's success this season, and yes he has kept nine clean sheets compared to Shay Given's 10 but City's number one shot-stopper has an extremely expensive assembled defence playing in front of him, unlike Brum.

Given is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers to have graced the Premier League and when he became available for a mere £8million, City could not refuse, and rightly so. It did, however freeze out one of the most talented young goalies around.

So where does the current situation leave Hart? He has surely played his way into Fabio Capello's World Cup squad, but as much as he has improved he's probably not quite as good as Given. The Republic of Ireland keeper can win points for his team single-handedly, but Hart's time will come. Whether it happens at the Eastlands is a different matter though.

The former Shrewsbury Town man has the talent to be the keeper that leads City into what will hopefully be one of our most successful periods - ever, but the feeling at Eastlands seems to be not quite yet. Given is still young in goalkeeper terms (33) so perhaps the best conclusion for all would be to delay the decision for a year and let him have another 12-months on loan at St Andrews.

Tell you what you think by leaving your comments in the section directly below this article.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer: Phil McLaggan  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 8 2010

Time: 2:27PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I think Shay needs some serious competition and Joe needs to Play with his own team now. I do not think he will gain any benefit from another season away.
Buzz Lightyear
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08/04/2010 14:42:00

I disagree Buzz - i think one more season at Birmingham and then Shay may be ready to take the bench for most games.
Report Abuse
08/04/2010 14:48:00

Can't see why joe can't nick shay's no.1 spot. It would force him to work hard to get his spot back. Hart's been better than shay this season
Report Abuse
08/04/2010 14:49:00

Has anyone heard Barry Glendenings theory that Given has never played behind a good defence because he can't organise and can only shot stop.Hart has been superb.
Report Abuse
08/04/2010 14:51:00

That's Barry The Mackem from the Grauniad, Pking? Knows his stuff. Top article Phil! I think much will depend upon where MCFC finish this season on this one.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
08/04/2010 15:04:00

I think Barry was just trying to be provocative as usual.Given is quality.
Report Abuse
08/04/2010 15:28:00

Guys, Manchester City currently have the besy two keepers in the Premier League. I have watched Hart week in week out this season and I have seen him make 4 world class saves in one match. He is the reason why Birmingham have taken points from all of the top 6 teams this season and we are about to finish top ten after being relegation favourites. Hart has made that much difference. It would be criminal not to develop him in a first choice keeper role. I would suggest that he comes to us for another season. If he has a good world cup and has another season like this one at Brum, we wont be able to afford him, then Man City can either make him their number one or make a handsome profit!.
Report Abuse
09/04/2010 07:10:00

city should send joe out on one more season loan, coz at the moment shay has not really set a foot wrong, in my opinion we should of kept kasper to keep the pressure on shay while joe is away
Report Abuse
09/04/2010 13:59:00


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