An Introduction To… Joe Hart
December 15, 2009
It’s been a busy couple of years for Joe Hart, with his career taking more twists and turns than Birmingham’s famous Spaghetti Junction. And Birmingham is where Hart now finds himself, after he lost the number one shirt at Manchester City to recent signing Shay Given.
Hart seemed to be making good progress at City, following a 2006 move from Shrewsbury Town and, after a couple of impressive loan spells, he even won a first team berth under then manager Sven Goran Eriksson. However Hart’s run was brought to an end when new boss Mark Hughes decided to splash the cash on the Republic of Ireland ‘keeper the following season.
Hart was promptly loaned out to Birmingham City which means that at just 22 years of age he has already turned out for five different teams domestically as well as figuring for England at under-21 and senior level.
Not that all this upheaval seems to bother Hart. Speaking to betting.betfair, the youngster said: “I don’t take it personally – that’s football for you. City have replaced me with a world-class goalkeeper in Shay Given, so it is hard to argue with that.”
“I am still young and learning so going out to the Blues for a season is a massive plus because I can still play in the top league and show people what I am all about.”
While Birmingham City’s Premier League betting is longer than that of their Manchester rivals, it is clear Hart places a lot of value on first team football and he certainly appears to be taking the chance he has been given. Hart has been a core part of a Birmingham side that currently finds itself eighth in the table, just five points off a much coveted top four position.
Key to their impressive form has been a fine defensive record, with Hart and Birmingham conceding just four home goals – the joint lowest in the Premier League and a stat unlikely to have gone unnoticed by England boss Fabio Capello.
The Italian has selected Hart in a number of his recent squads and awarded the youngster a first full cap in a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago last year. With good English goalkeepers at a premium, there is a chance that Hart could find himself on the plane to South Africa next summer.
Speaking about his World Cup chances, the ‘keeper said: “It [making the squad] would be an absolute dream, but I don’t think at this moment I am in the top three goalkeeper reckoning – I believe that I may be relying on someone else’s misfortune in terms of injuries.
“I don’t put too much pressure on myself, I just go and approach every game the same and always try and do my best. I am still relatively young for a goalkeeper, so time’s on my side for now.”
Whether or not he makes the squad this time, Hart looks set for a fine career. With Birmingham fans already chanting Hart’s name Capello, and the rest of the nation, may have to sit up and take notice of the young goalie sooner rather than later.
In other sports news, the odds for next year’s Grand National are already starting to hot up and might be worth keeping an eye on.