Thursday, 12 September 2013

Blue Review: Is the criticism of Joe Hart fair?

Sketchy performances have led to questions being raised

By Rebecca Halliwell

This week it was the turn of Rebecca Halliwell to deliver her first opinion piece of the season in the Blue Review series. She has decided to look at whether the criticism aimed at Joe Hart's recent performances is unjust or not.

“Hart was once Head and Shoulders above the rest… now England’s No 1 looks flaky.”

That was the rather clever, but demeaning headline published by The Daily Mail on Tuesday. The Mail criticised Hart’s performance, stating that he has been ‘unconvincing’ for over a year now. The article lists a number of matches, for both club and country, where they believe that Joe’s performance have been under par. 

Take the Scotland game, for example. The Mail claims that Joe’s performance was ‘error-strewn’ and many people blame him for the second goal.  Typically, Joe would have saved the ball and all goalkeepers make mistakes, as do outfield players. However, when an outfield player makes less than a perfect pass resulting in possession being lost, very little is made of it. 

It isn’t just the Daily Mail who have been critical of England's number one in recent weeks, with many reports emerging over recent weeks doubting his skills as a shot stopper which begs the simple question; Is the criticism of Joe Hart fair? 

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook
Personally, I don’t think so. Statistics clearly show that Joe has been the best goalkeeper in the Premier League for the last three seasons, as proven by obtaining the Golden Glove Award over the same period. He kept eighteen clean sheets last season and was City’s best player against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League where a string of outstanding saves kept City’s European dream alive. 

This would not be apparent had you read some of the opinions in the media in recent weeks. Joe has been a regular player in England’s squad since 2010 and is now rightly recognised as being England’s No 1.

All of this negativity will be destroying Joe’s confidence and for a goalkeeper of 26 he is nowhere near reaching his peak level. I am confident that he is still one of the best keepers in the world, and despite the negativity surrounding the media, he will come back stronger and produce yet another successful season between the sticks for both City and England!

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You can also follow Rebecca on Twitter: @BexHalliwell

(c) The Sky Blue View 2013 

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