Analyzing Joe Hart's Struggles for Manchester City and England
Things didn't get any better on Wednesday, as Hart and Manchester City lost 3-1 to Bayern Munich, with goals in the seventh, 56th and 59th minutes from Bayern.
Hart did not look good at all. He struggled throughout the match, allowing three goals on just eight shots that were on target. This attempted save in particular was not a good one, allowing Franck Ribery to score just a few minutes into the match.
This is yet another ugly performance from the struggling goalkeeper. In 11 appearances in the 2013-2014 season with both England and Manchester City, opponents have scored a total of 12 goals. He did have a streak of five appearances in games where the opponents failed to score, but that's changed over the past three outings for Man City, with opponents scoring seven total goals.
After looking like one of the best goalkeepers out there, Hart has unraveled over the past year. Consistent errors and overall poor play has led to some difficult games for both City and England. He may have tallied 18 clean sheets last season, but he certainly struggled and continued to struggle after making critical errors in certain games.
Is Hart playing his way out of the starting job?
His struggles have meant bad news for Man City, who are currently just seventh in the Barclays Premier League standings with just 10 points in six matches.
If there's one thing you can't question about Hart, though, it's his natural talent. Hart has been a tremendous goalkeeper in previous seasons, using his impressive reflexes and ability to stay in excellent position with the ball to keep opponents from getting the ball in the net. Unfortunately, he hasn't flashed much of that talent this year.
Despite all of his natural abilities, something has changed with Hart over the past 13 to 14 months. He simply doesn't look like the same player. Not only is he making more errors than he has in the past, but he's also clearly letting the errors get to him from a mental standpoint, and that's something a club never want to happen to their goalkeeper.
We saw some of this on Wednesday against Bayern. This goal by Arjen Robben wasn't an incredibly easy one to stop, but it's one most goalkeepers should be able to stop.
Instead of making the stop, Hart just didn't look ready for the shot, and didn't seem as focused as he used to be.
It's quite clear something is off with Hart's mentality and confidence, and he's not helping himself or his teammates by continuing to struggle.
Until Hart can turn that around, we might see more ugly performances like this one for the near future.
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