Joe Hart. Manchester City and England’s number 1.
Impeccable hair, golden gloves. On the bench.
There were rumours that it was going to happen the closer kick off approached on Saturday, and then as the lineup was announced it was confirmed. Joe Hart, dropped for the first game of the season.
Pep was looking for a ball playing keeper, a sweeper keeper, in the mould of Neuer.
But he wouldn’t drop Hart for Caballero.
He would. And he did.
Caballero, cup hero for City, but not better than Joe.
What is Pep playing at?
He’s not playing at anything. He is building a new Manchester City team. His Manchester City team. And if you are not in you are out. He doesn’t care if your name is Samir Nasri, Eliaquim Mangala or Charles Joseph John Hart. If you are not able to play his game, you won’t get a chance to play any game.
It looks like the honeymoon is over with the fans for Pep. It’s one thing dropping Wilfried Bony, Mangala or even Nasri. But Hart? He’s part of the City spine.
A lot of fans are not happy with this. But a lot of fans need to realise you get Pep. You get this. You get his football, you get his tactics, you hopefully get his trophies, but you get this.
There is no room for sentimentality.
Pep isn’t saying Joe is a bad keeper. Pep is just saying he isn’t the right keeper for him. Joe is a world class shot stopper, (See the Champions League games vs Barcelona) he has his weaknesses sure but he is a great keeper. However he isn’t a baller. He isn’t the fastest to distribute the ball. I must shout “GET A MOVE ON” at Joe multiple times a game. I see where Pep is coming from.
Does Joe stay and fight for his place? Does he learn to play with his feet? I’d like to think he would, but he’s 29, he may rightfully be thinking he should be one of the first names on the team sheet every week. He’s been on loan, he’s fought his way to number 1, he doesn’t need to do it again. That’s fair. That’s up to him.
But it’s up to Pep if he plays if he stays. No matter how many games he’s played, no matter how many golden gloves he’s won. Pep’s the boss now.