Manchester City

Elton John & Kiki Dee At Eastlands?

‘Don’t go breaking my Hart’ laments City crooner, George Caveney

… what Roberto may say to Stevie B if this ridiculous loan deal goes through. Uh-hur-hur!

What’s up with this Hart on loan to Chunderland business, anyway? Eh? What piffle is this? Where the rubber duck is the sense?

Shay Given is supposedly fit and raring to go, and maybe the prospect of choosing between two of the league’s finest stoppers is too much for Scarf Ace to entertain. Maybe it’s better to blame any shortcomings on a lack of options than making the wrong selection, especially when there are so many ‘told you so’ snipers with crosshairs on City for this coming season. Maybe it is, but I doubt this is the mentality of a manager who’s publicly bullish about our impending success.

I can see Hart wanting to ensure first team action and secure a place in England’s future (whatever that may be). He knows the chance is his to throw away. But aren’t we in danger of losing Hart entirely if we can’t hand him more backing and trust? He’s been a City player for a while now without donning his gloves in meaningful competition. Nothing against Given – who could be in the A-Team, The Fall Guy, Blue Thunder and out-equalise The Equalizer in my eyes – but what if he’s injured again? What then? I guess we can’t expect Joe to wait around for this to happen. It’s a tough one. The more I think about it, the more I appreciate the dilemma for Joe and for City.

Some have suggested Given is our preferred league player, while Hart handles domestic cup and European games, stepping in if needed. That makes sense, but it hangs on a decent run and still doesn’t give Hart the exposure he’s after. But then look at David James, who’s hardly had the best time domestically for several seasons or any Euro action to speak of, yet continues to inspire England’s confidence. Sure, he’s a known quantity, but still.

For me – and I would imagine a large swathe of expectant City faithful – we need to keep Hart, pull him into our heaving bosom and pinch his bum a bit. Given is clearly still first choice, but that doesn’t mean Hart can’t play a big part in our campaign. And if we are to get CL football next year, I’d say a season’s preparation in situ to become first choice for 2011/12 makes a lorryload more sense than letting Bruce et al anywhere near him.

Your thoughts?

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