Joe Hart Dropped for Manchester City’s Norwich Clash

Manchester City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon

Joe Hart dropped….Pantilimon set to continue

Costel Pantilimon is expected to continue against Norwich City this weekend.

Under-fire goalkeeper Joe Hart is expected to sit out as Manchester City entertain the Canaries.

Hart has already been informed of the decision, which hasn’t been announced by the club. Pantilimon made a strong case to draw a league start with a clean sheet against Newcastle in midweek Capital One Cup play.

The England goalkeeper has been agonising over his place in Manuel Pelligrini’s starting team since conceding Chelsea’s winning goal at Stamford Bridge last week after a mix-up with defender Matija Nastajic.

Telegraph Sport understands Hart has today been told he will be left out of the team to face Norwich in favour of Costel Pantilimon.

Hart was a key piece for City during their run to the Premier League championship two seasons ago. He also emerged as the potential solution to England’s recent goalkeeping woes at the international level in the process.

He struggled to maintain top form last season, however, and that often-lackluster play has carried over into the new campaign. His mistake late in last week’s loss to Chelsea, which allowed Fernando Torres to net a late winner, was the latest example of his struggles.

Pellegrini admitted last month that he had considered dropping Hart, 26, for City’s home victory over Everton – a game where Everton took the lead before losing 3-1.

“It wasn’t a simple decision [to play Hart]. It was a very difficult decision,” Pellegrini said after the win.

It will be fascinating to see how Joe Hart bounces back from this. It is not something that goalkeepers have necessarily dealt with well in the past. I can’t think of too many examples where top-class goalkeepers have been dropped and have come back stronger for it. It is a test of his mental strength with the World Cup coming up next summer.

“But I think Joe needs the trust of all us, from me, the other players, the fans.” Earlier on Friday, City midfielder Yaya Toure admitted that Hart was going through a tough time.

“Joe Hart is very fantastic. He is doing very well, he is quiet, trying to concentrate and focus on his game,” said Toure.

“When you see the game we played against CSKA Moscow he saved a fantastic goal, but everybody can’t be perfect all the time because you can do some mistakes. Even I make mistakes but most important we have to keep him going, all the team mates are giving him support.

“We know it’s difficult for him, with the experienced players we have as team mates all the time try to give him confidence.”

At the same time, City have to worry about winning matches, and it’s hard to argue against giving Pantilimon a chance right now. Whether the Romanian takes over the top spot on a regular basis or this will be a match-by-match decision is unclear, though.

For now, Pantilimon is expected to draw the start against Norwich, and supporters will have to see what happens from there.

Recent form


Bet Now

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.