It’s been a tough couple of years for Joe Hart. The former England stopper fell out of favour at Manchester City and failed to impress during loan spells at Torino and West Ham. He left the Etihad on August 7th and signed a two year contract with Sean Dyche’s Burnley. The Clarets are desperate to bolster their squad ahead of a busy campaign which will see them juggle Premier League and Europa League football. Can the 31-year-old rebuild his reputation in Lancashire?
Source: Burnley FC via Twitter
Despite his relationship with current boss Pep Guardiola deteriorating over time, Joe Hart’s Manchester City career will be classed as a hugely successful one. In 12 years at the club, he made 348 appearances, securing two Premier League trophies, one FA Cup and winning four Golden Glove awards. He’s been a fantastic servant to the club and many City fans are sad to see their former number one depart.
Hart has spent time away from the club in recent seasons with ill-fated spells in both Turin and East London. Despite teammates praising his presence in the dressing room, his time in Serie A was memorable for the wrong reasons. Torino conceded 46 goals despite finishing in the top half and Hart made two catastrophic errors which directly led to the opposition scoring. On debut, his weak punch led to Atalanta taking the lead and, although things did gradually begin to improve, Hart’s stint in Italy cannot be regarded as a successful one.
At West Ham, his glaring error against Stoke City was yet another well-publicised blunder and these frequent lapses prompted England manager Gareth Southgate to leave him out of the 2018 World Cup squad.
Joining Burnley is a terrific opportunity for the Shrewsbury-born goalkeeper. It is a deal which helps both parties and Hart will be hoping to nail down a regular spot this season. The Clarets kept twelve clean sheets last season and boasted one of the tightest defences in the top flight. Sean Dyche guided his unfancied side to seventh last season and they are 11/4 in the Paddy Power betting odds to secure a second consecutive top half finish during the 2018-19 campaign.
Nick Pope’s injury paves the way for Hart to chalk up some early season appearances and playing behind a defence which will feature fellow new-signing Ben Gibson looks like the ideal opportunity to restore some confidence and begin to rebuild his reputation. Joey Barton also had a spell at Turf Moor, proving his doubters wrong whilst playing a significant role for the side and that has some parallels to the Joe Hart situation.
He is believed to have taken a significant drop in wages in order to accept the contract in Lancashire and that is a sign of a player who is keen to salvage some pride and play football on a weekly basis. He was determined to leave the Etihad this summer and it looks as though he’s found himself the perfect opportunity. Working with the inspirational Sean Dyche is likely to get the best out of Joe Hart and the keeper will be keen to prove that he is far from a spent force and can still be a match-winner in the top flight.