Pep Guardiola may not be as much of a destructive whirlwind as when Jose Mourinho turns up at a new club. However, the Spaniard certainly upsets the applecart, but Pep just goes about it in a way that doesn’t pee off everyone from here to kingdom come.
Whilst people swoon over the former Bayern Munich manager’s implementation of his Tika-taka tactics on a Manchester City side past its sell-by-date, there are a few players looking for their next club. Sure, Wilfried Bony and Yaya Toure being linked with moves a way from the Etihad Stadium is no surprise. They were off, irrelevant of the manager that came in. However, Joe Hart’s impending exit has been one that has surprised people more than when Liverpool’s owners received the add-on clauses from Crystal Palace.
— Dyl 🇮🇪 (@Dylan_Crampton) August 16, 2016
Guardiola’s decision that Joe Hart’s inability to distribute the ball and play the sweeper-keeper role could jeopardise the success of the team, by placing an inadequate goalkeeper in Willy Caballero between the sticks, strikes of negligence and a highly risky strategy.
The truth is, Pep doesn’t view the 34-year-old, Caballero, as a better all-round ‘keeper than England’s No.1. However, in order to get his point across to the board regarding wanting a new man between the sticks – and to Joe Hart that he won’t be featuring anytime soon – Pep took a risk. But as usually seems to happen for the Barcelona icon, he got his reward: Claudio Bravo.
There have been subtle murmurs amongst the England fans for a year or two now that Fraser Forster should be the Three Lions’ No.1. Although many wouldn’t doubt Hart as England’s best goalkeeper, the lapses in concentration and the perceived unwarranted arrogance all came to a head during England’s Euro 2016 campaign, with a costly error against Iceland ending England’s brief spell in France.
Hart has been viewed as one of the top goalies in world football, maybe not quite David de Gea or Manuel Neuer level, but certainly good enough to warrant a place in discussions when determining the ‘Top 10’ out there. But perhaps that’s just to us English Premier League fans, though? Perhaps, yet again, we are getting carried away because we have the most entertaining league in the world. And therefore feel that somehow transpires to us having a top team internationally.
Joe Hart has made more defensive errors (16) since 2012/13 than any other Man City player; 13 leading to goals. pic.twitter.com/ECKSptNIgz
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 16, 2016
That being said, is it not fair to say that had any other manager turned up at the Etihad Stadium, Joe Hart would’ve been a comfortable certainty for the Citizens No.1?
So, is Pep a man who expects too much? Or have England, yet again, been shown to have misplaced faith and belief in another inadequate footballer who earns his caps purely because he plays for one of the biggest clubs in English and world football?