Joe Hart Will Remain Manchester City's Starting Goalkeeper

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2013

Getty Images/Ross Kinnaird

After getting his first English Premier League start in almost two months, Joe Hart will remain the starting goalkeeper for Manchester City.

The 26-year-old player earned the start on Dec. 21 against Fulham, with his side coming away with a 4-2 victory. According to BBC Sport, manager Manuel Pellegrini gave the keeper a vote of confidence after the match:

He deserved to play and he also deserves to continue. In every match we could play with 11 different starters, but at the moment Joe will continue to play.

Joe did well and it was not easy. The pitch was very quick and there was a lot of wind but he had a very good game.

Hart had competed in various other competitions, but he hadn't appeared in a league match since the club suffered a 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Oct. 27. Costel Pantilimon had taken over at the position for seven games.

Before getting benched, the English international struggled with consistency against inferior opponents. He had three clean sheets in nine matches, but he still gave up easy goals at various times. provided a look at the player's struggles in the early part of the season:

This led to his manager sending a message to the veteran player by keeping him out of the lineup for an extended duration.

Still, Hart has a lot of skill, which is why he is one of the top options in net for the English national team. At his peak ability, he can be one of the top keepers in the entire EPL.

Considering Manchester City lead the league with 51 goals in 17 matches, the biggest weak link is defensive consistency. The club will hope that Hart can get back to his true form and help in this area.

If he can, this squad can be a top contender for a league title. 


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