Sometimes the media bandwagon gets a little too much to stomach, and lets pull no punches, the reaction to Joe Hart’s poor performance against Sweden is about as strong a shout for ‘over reaction of the year’ as Ibra’s sublime fourth goal will be for ‘best goal ever.’ A shoo in.
All day long whilst perusing the papers and internet forums I have come across varying opinions, and some have been very valid. Howard Hockin wrote for this very site about how the lack of competition for the number one shirt is a problem for Hart and keeping him on his toes. I doubt anyone would argue with that. Look at Ronaldo and Messi – each competing with the other to be the best in the world (although I think ego-himavich may have something to say now after the zlat-trick and fourth goal) push each other to new levels. This is seen in clubs too and can only be a good thing. Hart does not profit from this and yet somehow the lack of competition is his fault? Bizarre but then again this is the British public and media.
The allegation Roy Keane made however of Hart being now too ‘cocky’ is something Hart has refuted on yes you’ve guessed it the fountain of all that is pure in the world – twitter – and even took the time to do a Q and A session with fans perhaps to prove his head is not too big to fit through the door after all.
That was bad enough but of course the Daily Mail had to weigh in, with Neil Ashton going one further from calling the keeper cocky and went as far as to conclude his ‘article’ by stating that England should look to other options for the game against Brazil in February. One wonders who exactly he is referring to – yes Celtic keeper Forster had a sublime couple of games against Barcelona but to replace Hart? Really? I can only assume Ashton fancies a flutter on a Neymar rout.
Hart himself will testify to the fact that his last few games have not been up to the standard he set for himself – in fact since the game against Spanish Champions Real Madrid he has looked a little off the pace, but all players go through dips in form and as a goalie it is more noticeable than any other position on the field.
Wonder striker Ramadel Falcao has now gone two games without scoring – very poor by his standards, but he gets away with the mistakes and misses by being a forward. Imagine if an England keeper suddenly exhibited the form Torres shows week in week out – there would be a national enquiry.
Whilst we can all agree on the fact that Hart better return to form and quickly, the fact that we are one step away from mocking up his face on wanted posters shows just how quickly England fans do jump on the bandwagon and seem to live to criticise sometimes.
Hart may need to develop a very thick layer of skin if he wants to be our number one for the next 10 years although it could be worse. He could be team mate Scot Sinclair who must be looking for a transfer to any country that ‘I’m A Celeb’ isn’t screened given the stick he has been taking since his Wag Helen entered the jungle. Chin up Joe, there’s always someone worse off than you!