Goalkeepers have truly been thrown into the spotlight so far this season, or maybe it is just my over-obsessive attitude to my former position; a hint of green eyed envy and the typical bitterness that comes with it.
They haven’t helped themselves however with a string of mistakes in the early exchanges of the season, one or two throwing their toys out the pram (who could that be?) and others being just excellent.
At the start of the season Joe Hart was struggling, no matter what anyone tells you, he was. The injury he was carrying seemed to be affecting his usually spring-loaded leap and he conceded goals that he would usually have saved.
But with Romanian one-man blooper-reel Costel Pantilimon the only player of note in reserve Mancini couldn’t afford to rest the England number one. Now he is certainly starting to get his bounce back, as his recent string of Champions League performances have proved.
I remember seeing Dimitrios Eleftheropoulos having a magnificent game for Greek side Olympiakos back in 1999 and thinking I would never see a better goalkeeping performance in the Champions League, then Manuel Neuer captivated me with his bullish style against Manchester United in the Champions League Semi-Final with Schalke 04; but Joe Hart’s heroics against Borussia Dortmund have propelled that bar to a whole new level.
But Gordon Banks believes a lack of competition on both international and club fronts may be detrimental to his development. While it is true without being driven by the impending doom of dropping to the bench your performances can suffer a dip I am going to have to disagree with the legendary stopper on this one.
He believes that Hart could become ‘too over-confident’; which personally I don’t understand. I would prefer to have a highly confident man between the sticks then one quaking in the boots at the thought of facing some of the top talent in the world.
His over-confidence has always been present, regardless of competition. I would not be surprised if during his time at Shrewsbury Town he looked at the Buffon, Kahn and Cesar’s of the world and thought to himself … ‘’Yeah, I’m better than them’’.
It’s part of his charm, and part of what makes him so good.
What do you think does Joe Hart need more competition to avoid problematic arrogance?
image: © mr-football