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Player of the Day: Joe Hart
England and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has been chosen as our next “Player of the Day”. Hart played in all 38 Premier League matches for Manchester City last season, and with 17 clean sheets, he was one of Roberto Mancini’s most important players for them to win the title.
Joe Hart started his career playing for his hometown Shrewsbury in 2003, in their fight to stay in League 2, Hart was on the bench for the senior team as a replacement goalkeeper when he was just 15. But he didn’t manage to get a game in that season, over the normal goalkeeper Scott Howie who dominated the goalkeeping duties. Shrewsbury was demoted to the conference at the end of that season. Hart made his debut in the conference at the age of 17 on the 20th April 2004, a day after his birthday. The game was against Gravesend & North fleet, Hart didn’t manage to keep a clean sheet that game, he made his second appearance a few days later against Morecambe, but again Hart couldn’t keep a clean sheet, conceding 3 goals in the game, this was to be Hart’s last appearance of that season as the Head coach didn’t think he was ready to play in the senior team.
Although Shrewsbury managed to get back into League Two after being in the Conference for just one season, Hart only made 6 more appearances and 2 clean sheets, as Scott Howie was still the No.1 goalkeeper for the club side. But Hart was still only young, and was getting better and better every day, his patience with the goalkeeping duties paid of next season as he stepped up and became Shrewsbury’s No.1 goalkeeper. He made 50 appearances and had 13 clean sheets in the 2005-2006, despite conceding 55 goals that season; his individual effort on the pitch was impressive, making some fantastic saves.
Hart was voted by his peers that season as the League two’s best goalkeeper, which led to him being featured in the PFA League Two Team of the Year.
Joe Hart was confirmed a Manchester City player on the 22nd May 2006, Man City bought Hart for around £600,000, which would have risen to £1,500,000 if undisclosed clauses were achieved. Hart’s first season with Man City was again a patient season for the young goalkeeper, making only 1 appearance in a goalless draw against Sheffield United. Since Hart wasn’t getting hardly any games under his belt, he was loaned out to two different teams for the second half of the season, Tranmere Rovers and then Blackpool. Hart firstly went on a short term loan to Tranmere Rovers in January 2007; he made 6 appearances and conceded 8 goals, he then went on loan to Blackpool in April 2007 to replace injured goalkeepers Rhys Evans, Paul Rachubka and Lewis Edge. Hart did a good job for Blackpool, playing in 5 games for the tangerines, and winning all 5 of them.
When Hart returned to Man City next season after a successful spell with Blackpool, he was named by former Man City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson as the No.1 goalkeeper for Man City. After a few good performances for City, Eriksson complemented Hart in an interview calling him “one of the biggest talents in the country as a goalkeeper”. In October 2008, Hart signed a new 5-year contract with City, and by the end of the season had made 32 appearances and 10 clean sheets in all competitions.
In the 2008-2009 season, Joe Hart lost his place as No.1 goalkeeper to Irishman Shay Given, who signed for City in the January sales and took the main goalkeeping role for the rest of the season. Despite this, Joe Hart still had played in all the games of the first half of the season for City, but didn’t manage to get any caps whilst Shay Given was there.
His records for each season were starting to get better and more consistent as he made 33 appearances and 11 clean sheets in all competitions.
Since he was getting hardly any game time whilst Shay Given was there, City loaned out Hart for the 2009-2010 season to Birmingham City, who had just been promoted to the Premier League. Hart had a poor start to the season with Birmingham, but slowly got better, and managed to keep his place in the starting 11 when Birmingham made a club record of a 12-match unbeaten run. Hart made 41 appearances for Birmingham and kept 12 clean sheets, he was also chosen by his colleagues as Birmingham’s player of the year, and was nominated for the 2010 PFA Young Player of the Year, but lost out to James Milner, but Hart was still included in the PFA Team of the Year for that season.
This was to be Joe Hart’s final loan to this date, he returned to Man City for the 2010-2011 season, in which he really proved himself to be one of England’s best goalkeepers at the present time. Hart started ahead of Shay Given in the first match of the season against Tottenham, making a man of the match performance with some fantastic saves as the game finished 0-0, getting his first of many clean sheets that season. Throughout the season Hart continued to impress, helping his team to FA Cup glory after keeping a clean sheet in both the Semi Final and the Final, also helping his club qualify for the Champions League for the next season to come after keeping 18 clean sheets in the Premier League. Hart was awarded at the end of the season with the Golden Glove award for having the highest amount of clean sheets over every other goalkeeper.
Hart made 55 appearances with 30 clean sheets in all competitions that season.
Joe Hart’s most recent season with Man City, saw the departure of Shay Given as he was transferred to Aston Villa, this secured Hart’s position as the No.1 goalkeeper for City. People will remember last season for a very long time, the Premier League was described by pundits as “the best league in the world” for the thrilling chase for the title between rivals Manchester City and Manchester United. But the final game of the season was to be the deciding one, which saw City’s Aguero score the winning goal to beat QPR in extra time, to win the game and the League for City. Hart had made a huge contribution to Man City winning the title, appearing in all 38 league games for City; keeping 17 clean sheets, he won the Golden Glove award for the 2nd consecutive season.
Hart started his international career playing for the England U-19s squad, making 5 appearances in the space of two years (2007-2009). But in 2007 he was also picked for the U-21s squad for the Euros 2007, but the only match he played was a warm up match before the tournament, in which England won 5-0 against Turkey. He was recalled to the squad for the Euros 2009, Hart played in two of the group games and the semi final against Sweden, the game went to penalties, and Hart made a crucial save to win the penalty shoot-out 5-4. Unfortunately Joe Hart got a one-match suspension after a yellow card against Sweden, and missed the out on the final. The Englishman made his senior debut against Trinidad and Tobago on the 1st June 2008, coming on at half time for David James, the game finished 3-0 to England. After the 2010 World Cup, Hart started to become a regular goalkeeper for England, and proved himself good enough to be in the squad for the Euros 2012. Although England only got to the quarter finals of the Euros, Hart still made the most saves out of all the other goalkeepers, he managed to save 19 shots throughout the tournament.
Hart has made 22 appearances for England so far, and only conceded in 8 of his international games.
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