Pellegrini admits Hart is at the heart of Manchester City’s decline
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini admits he was at the crossroads thinking about whether Joe Hart should remain his first-choice as goalkeeper. The Chilean tactician claims he was at the cusp of dropping the English shot-stopper from the game against Everton, but decided against it just before confirming the squad.
Pellegrini has seen Hart experience “a difficult decision”. The 26-year-old England international has been an easy first-choice in Manchester City ranks since his early days, as a matter of fact he is considered to be one of the best goalkeepers in Europe. However, such credentials have been revoked due to the goalkeeper’s poor form this season.
Hart has been at the heart of a couple of defeats for Manchester City this season, including Wednesday’s Champions League 3-1 defeat to the tournament’s winner Bayern Munich. Hart was at least found wrong twice on goals from Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. In the Premier League goals from Frazier Campbell and Andreas Weimann have been reasons for torment.
The former Real Madrid manager told reporters that he was about to go with second-choice goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon instead of Hart against Everton. The Merseyside club took advantage of Hart’s poor form to record an upset 3-1 victory.
“It wasn't a simple decision, it was a very difficult decision, but I think Joe needs the trust of all of us -- of me, the other players and the fans,” Pellegrini told reporter after the game. “Of course he feels he didn't do well the last game, he feels that he was guilty, but it was more important that he reflected how strong his character is.”
Special taunts have been directed towards Hart for letting on-loan Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku score for Everton at Etihad Stadium. Pellegrini absolved Hart from a bit of blame whilst suggesting that its “always the responsibility for the goal is with the whole team”. Nonetheless, Hart has little hope of reappearing between the sticks in the upcoming game against West Ham United, a team that recently hammered Tottenham Hotspur into a 3-0 defeat.