Manchester City: Joe Hart Tells It Like It Is And Gets a Rap
So you've just played a blinder in a Champions League match in the Bernabeu and still seen your team leak two goals in the last five minutes to lose. Now there's a bloke from ITV pushing a microphone at you - not likely to say too many positive things are you?
This morning Roberto Mancini has reportedly told Hart that it's his job to be a goalie and Mancini's job to criticise the team. You have to feel sorry for Hart. Players are always being chided for failing to carry out their media obligations or criticised for making bland statements that mean very little. He talks common sense straight after the match and gets a rap for it.
It's no wonder most of them treat a microphone like it's made of explosive. Hart gives a perfectly honest opinion after a highly charged game and his manager isn't too pleased. I'd hope that most of his fellow players weren't too worried though, because Hart's comments were short and to the point.
If I was a Manchester City fan I'd be pleased to find out that a player at a club aspiring to reach the summit of European football and paying the huge wages that go with it wasn't happy with a losing display - and definitely not content with playing a part in an exciting game.
To be honest, I think Hart was just doing well not to punch holes in the dressing room wall after such a calamitous ending to a very important game. It certainly is not acceptable to concede twice in the last five minutes after working so hard to take a lead and professionals at this level have to accept blame collectively.
Mancini comes from the famously disciplinarian Italian tradition and no doubt he will be making the same points behind closed doors. On the whole the culture of 'keeping it in the dressing room' is a positive but the blame for Hart's honest comments needs to go to ITV and UEFA, not the keeper.
If you demand to be able to get quotes from players in the aftermath of a major contest, then it's no use blaming the participants. Mancini might have been irked by his keeper but then again, the club would be under pressure from sponsors and television if they didn't make players available.
Perhaps Gabriel Clarke and Ned Boulting et al will find it harder to grab someone in the future because of Mancini's reaction. But it's certainly a case of 'don't shoot the messenger', Joe Hart's comments were accurate and probably a much sanitised version of his comments once he got back to his team mates.
Manchester City supporters saw a player who cares deeply and is capable of brutal analysis. Overall his standing among City fans will be enhanced (although some blame him for one of the goals) and the supporters can at least take comfort that the team shares their frustration.
Calling all City fans: Do you agree with Hugh? Whatever your view, we'd love to hear from you.
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