Newsletter #1929

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Well he is out of the side and still the debate rages. I’m feeling pretty sorry for Joe; it can’t be pleasant for him.

The extended will he/won’t he be dropped period last week didn’t help for sure. Either drop him and announce it or back him from the start would have cut the argument early and allowed Joe a bit of respite. It’s interesting to ponder how Mancini would have handled it?

A couple of articles for you today including an interesting analysis by Kjartan and a plea for help in Istanbul!

Also a small break from the norm, but the and finally today is taken from an article on the BBC website featuring a couple of well-informed opinions that I thought worthy of attention.

Next Game: 10 November, Sunderland, Stadium of Light, 14:00 GMT

IS JOE HART OUT OF FORM?

I’ve been a goalkeeper myself and have always been a big fan of Joe Hart! He is a fantastic shot stopper and one of the world’s best 1-on-1. I believe he is one of the best goalkeepers there is but still feel he can improve. There are two areas where I think he needs to improve:

  1. He is not offensive enough
    A “modern” goalie should act like a sweeper and not be “glued” to thegoal line. When there is a long ball being played behind the defenders youwould often see Joe Hart start racing from his goal line and the strikergets first to the ball. A more “offensive” goalie would already be aroundthe 18 yard line when the ball is played, which would make it easier toget to the ball first or drop back towards the goal.
  2. He is not a good enough footballer
    He needs to be able to distribute the ball to the defenders even underpressure and not always kick it upfield. If you watched City play Bayernit became very obvious. City were under pressure, Hart got the ball andevery time he opted for the long kick. As a result Bayern kept the ballfor what felt like another 5 minutes. I believe Hart should be able topick out a defender or a midfielder with a simple pass and not give itaway every time. Of course when under heavy pressure the long kick is thebest solution but not every time the ball is at his feet!

It seems like Joe Hart has been working on being more offensive this season but he obviously still has a long way to go. He has conceded 3 goals this way (Villa, CSKA and Chelsea) and all of them should have been avoided. In all these cases he should have kept calm and not raced for it. When defending in football it is important that you keep a certain distance between the defenders and midfielders and between the midfielders and attackers. Otherwise you expose to much space for the opposition to exploit. The same applies for goalies and the distance between him and his defenders. Goalkeepers who are good at this are often very good at intercepting through balls and avoiding potential 1-on-1 situations. Still, I think people blames Joe Hart too easily. He has made some errors but he has not had much help that’s for sure! The defence has not been up to our normal standard and there has been a lot of rotation due to Kompany being injured most of the season. I have reviewed all the goals we have conceded until Hart was dropped (11 in PL and 4 in CL) and there are plenty of players to blame!

Cardiff – Man City 3-2

1-1 (Gunnarsson): Kim is allowed to run away from both Yaya and Fernandinho down the right and gets past Clichy to make a cross to Campbell. Hart makes a brilliant save but none of 4 City players are able to pick up Gunnarsson who easily scores on the rebound. Terrible defending from City.

2-1 (Campbell): Hart is under heavy pressure and is not able to clear the curled corner and Campbell easily leaves Zabaleta stranded to head home. Zabaleta is ball-watching and not even close to Campbell. Terrible defending by Zabaleta.

3-1 (Campbell): Another corner and again Zabaleta is ball-watching and allows Campbell to score again with a header.

This game was lost by terrible defending and must be one of the worst matches Zabaleta has played at any level. I remember being very surprised Zabaleta was the man to mark Campbell on set pieces. A very bad call by Pellegrini.

City – United 4-1

4-1 (Rooney): Great free-kick and not much Hart could do about it.

Aston Villa – Man City 3-2

1-1 (El Ahmadi): Bacuna is surrounded by 3 City players but is still able to make a pass to El Ahmadi who levels. Terrible defending (again), El Ahmadi was offside and Hart could do nothing about it.

2-2 (Bacuna): Nastasic concedes a really unnecessary free-kick on the edge of the box and Bacuna scores a great free kick. No chance Hart but Nastasic clearly has to take the blame for making a free kick after the ball has been cleared.

3-2 (Weimann): Another defensive blunder, this time a mix-up between Nastasic and Kompany, which leaves Weimann through on goal. Hart makes a bad call and comes for the ball too late. I’m amazed this is seen as a big mistake by Hart! Yes, he makes it easy for Weimann but he is still 1-on-1 and that’s not Hart’s fault. Wrong call by Hart but it’s not like it would never have been a goal if he had stayed in goal! But if he had done so he would probably have made a typical Hart save and been the hero and not the man everyone blamed after the game. Kompany and Nastasic should be the ones to blame for sure! The ball should never ever have reached Weimann!

Again we lose and again the defenders are to blame. This time Nastasic should take most of the blame but Kolarov could have prevented the build-up to the first and Kompany should have dealt with the 3rd.

Man City – Bayern Munich 1-3

0-1 (Ribery): The first real mistake Hart has made so far this season. The shot was probably over 100 km/h but still it should have been kept out.

0-2 (Müller): Terrible defending by City and Clichy and no chance for Hart as Müller beats him one on one. A more offensive goalie would probably have gone for the cross but still Clichy should never leave it like he did.

0-3 (Robben): This one was down to Fernandinho. You can’t lose the ball like that playing Bayern! Nastasic should have done better to keep out Robben and Hart in “Dortmund mode” would have stopped the shot. But I don’t believe Hart should be blamed for this one.

One of the most uninspired displays by City for ages. It was very disappointing to see them perform so poorly after having outclassed United days before. No one was up for it and Hart was the one having to take the blame (again).

Man City – Everton 3-1

0-1 (Lukaku): Terrible defending from Lescott who tries to put Lukaku offside on his own. He recovers just to let Lukaku fool him again and slot home. Hart unlucky not to save. Still, you get the feeling this is a goal Hart would not concede when in top form! Lescott has to take the blame for this one. Hart made a brilliant save from Lukaku just minutes before Lukaku scored.

West Ham – Man City 1-3

1-2 (Vaz Te): Brilliant overhead kick, no chance Hart.

CSKA – Man City 1-2

1-0 (Tosic): Garcia loses a high ball and Tosic is through and flicks the ball over Hart. Poor defending again but I believe Hart should have stayed in goal. As the ball was bouncing it would have been much harder for Tosic to score if he had to shoot under pressure from Nastasic. But can’t blame Hart for this one. Hart made a world class save in stoppage time and for the first time this season he made a “match winning” save.

Chelsea – Man City 2-1

1-0 (Schürrie): Poor defending by Clichy who let Torres pass him too easily. Schürrie makes a brilliant “dummy” move and Demichelis goes for it and it leaves the goal open for Schürrie. Brilliant moves from both Torres and Schürrie but the cross should never have been allowed by Clichy.

2-1 (Torres): The goal that put Hart on the bench. Again he races for a long ball when he should have stayed. I’m pretty sure Kompany or Demichelis would have made another move and cleared the ball. It appears as if Hart was shouting for Nastasic to leave it but the noise might have made it hard for Nastasic to hear him. If Hart shouted and Nastasic heard him it’s another story but we will never know. If Hart had stayed in goal it would have ended 1-1.

Is Joe Hart out of form?

He still makes the saves we all love him for like against CSKA. He is by far the best goalkeeper England has had for years (probably ever). He has made some mistakes and when you do as a goalie the consequences are brutal. I believe he has become the scapegoat for all the defensive errors made by his team mates. We wouldn’t have lost against Cardiff if Zabaleta had been doing his job. The same goes for Aston Villa and Chelsea. If the guys in front of him had done their job we wouldn’t have lost any of these matches! Whether Joe Hart is out of form or not I believe he will use this period on the bench to really show what he is made of. And when Pantilimon has cost us enough points Hart will be back and better than ever!

In Hart I trust!

Kjartan Aanestad <kjartan(at)aanestad.net>

ISTANBUL BLUES

I am stuck here for 3 weeks. Can anyone recommend a sports bar where I can watch Premier League games? This may be too late for Sunday’s titanic clash!

Malcolm Plaiter <Mplaiter(at)gmail.com>

AND FINALLY… SCHMEICHEL AND GIVEN’S VIEWS (Courtesy of the BBC website)

“Sometimes things aren’t working for you, but when it’s Joe Hart it’s highlighted like he’s killed someone. I disagree with Pellegrini’s decision. I disagree with the whole debate about Joe Hart. He might have had the odd situation, but he hasn’t gone from being an absolutely brilliant ‘keeper to what he is being portrayed as now.”

“Why is it that when you finally have an English goalkeeper who has the quality to become the first part of the spine that can actually take England somewhere, everyone wants to drag this kid down? You have a unique goalkeeper here, someone who is very, very good even on his bad days.”

“When you look at the goals he has been criticised for, at some point they could have been prevented by a defender or it was a misunderstanding. It is not down to Joe Hart on his own. Manchester City have got problems at the back.”

According to Aston Villa keeper Shay Given, who lost his place at Manchester City to Hart, the situation is a worry for both the player and the national team.

“The problem Joe has now is that if Pantilimon doesn’t make a mistake, Pellegrini is not going to be able to drop him. That would be a big problem for Joe. It’s a World Cup year, Brazil is not that far away and Joe will want to be playing every week. Roy Hodgson will also want to see him regularly.”


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[Valid3.2]Philip Alcock, editor@mcivta.city-fan.org

Newsletter #1929

2013/11/09

Editor:


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