Thursday, March 30, 2023

Is Joe Hart Headed To A Club Near You? | 5 Potential Destinations For The Lovelorn Keeper

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Jon Depp (JD)
Eccentric writer, effervescent blagger. What he lacks in cheekbones, he makes up by being cheeky. The footballing Jack Sparrow pompously navigating the high-waves of journalism. 2015 International Football Blogging Award Finalist, the pin-up boy of The 4th Official.

“Pigs do fly, don’t they?!” – Joe Hart, post-match vs Bucharest

The irony of the quote by Manchester City servant of 10 years, Joe Hart, had a caustic ring to it. Joe Hart is being evicted on the grounds that he’s not the sort of ball-playing sweeper-keeper Pep Guardiola demands at his new project. (Believe me, that’s all that is to him, a cold, calculated project.) So, it was fitting that the England international had the final say in the matter, by nothing up a pass accuracy rate of 100% in possibly his last match in the blue (black and violet) of Manchester. It’ll be hard for him to live this down. It’s like that chip at the end of your incisor you keep tonguing at, if you have a chip on the end of one of your incisor. Your mind, willingly or unwillingly will come back to it. It’s a pity, and diabolical, if I may say it, the way the matter was conducted. While we have come to terms with the expedience of modern football, it’ll be a sad day, when we start solely abiding by it. Patience which is already at a premium, will be gold dust, and legends traded off without dignity, just like any other also-ran, without a shred of closure or dignity.

While it is abject as it is, and Joe Hart is probably downing a pint with the jukebox playing Elvis’ Heartbreak Hotel (we do hope it is really not as dramatic in real life for Joe’s sake, as we are making it sound), he would have to eventually find a new place to dwell. A sleep deprived, JD of The 4th Official takes a look at the very limited, downgraded options Joe Hart now has with Everton and Ronald Koeman counting themselves out from the opportunity of being a generous host.

#1 West Ham

While Adrian remains a firm crowd favourite, Slaven Bilic may be tempted to be tempted to put in a cheeky bid for the former Shrewsbury goalkeeper, to come and provide stiff competition to his #1. West Ham who after moving to the Olympic Stadium have made no secrets of their ambition, and closing the gap of the entitled elites, have been throwing wads of money, however unsuccessfully, at high-profile targets. Joe Hart would not only be a coup, but a signal of intent of the London club’s growing stock, and climb back into relevance.
Pros: Shrewd manager, could probably meet his wage demands.
Cons: No Champions League, not playing in the top bracket.

#2 Liverpool

Iffy, considering Liverpool already have bought Loris Karius from Mainz as their #1, who comes with the reputation of being Bundesliga’s second best keeper after a certain Manuel Neuer – no mean feat. There is a sliver of an opportunity though, arising from the sheer collective lack of faith the club and its supporters have in the hit-and-miss Belgian, big-mouth, Simon Mignolet. If Juergen Klopp acts ruthlessly, to ship off Simon, it could mean Liverpool would have a much better keeper to fall back on, or even lead the competition for places with Karius. Alex Manninger who is essentially there as a part-time player-coach, wouldn’t be fussed either way.

Pros: Top bracket football, world class manager, healthy pay-cheque.
Cons: No European football.

#3 Sevilla

Joe Hart is probably keeping his VISA and Passport at close proximity. Moving abroad seems to be the safest bet for the Englishman.

The 29-year-old would bring a lot of experience between the sticks as opposed to the 22-year-old Sergio Rico, at Sevilla. Back-to-back Europa Cup winners also brings solid European credential to the table, with guaranteed Champions League football.

Pros: Champions League football.
Cons: Language barrier, wage bill, adaptation.

#4 Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund would be another viable option in terms of Champions League offering and top bracket football. Could learn an awful lot domineering shot-stopping techniques and command of the area from the battle-hardened, 36-year-old veteran, and club legend, Roman Weidenfeller, who is a keeper in Hart’s style of play. Roman Burki, the usual starter for Dortmund, would need displacing; while 22-year-old Hendrik Bonmann maybe not quite ready yet.

Pros: Champions League football, top bracket football, world class manager.
Cons: Language barrier, wage bill, adaptation.

#5 Borussia Mönchengladbach

Moenchengladbach would have sufficient funds for sure, after Arsenal’s 30 million GBP payment for the services of Granit Xhaka. Additionally, would also offer Champions League football. Their usual #1, Yann Sommer seems to have his head turned by the departure of his more illustrious team-mate to England, and is vying for a move away.

Pros: Champions League football.
Cons: Language barrier, wage bill, adaptation.

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