Pep Guardiola showcases ruthlessness in dropping Joe Hartby Andy Dillon / 16 August 2016, 11:47Tweet
In his latest column The Sun's Andy Dillon (@andydillon70) takes a look at Pep Guardiola's bold decision to drop England goalkeeper Joe Hart in his first Premier League game in charge of Manchester City.
THERE’S nothing quite like an electric shock to make your hair curl.
And nobody knows more about that than Joe Hart, part time Manchester City and England keeper, part-time barber’s shop model.
Hart was happy to take the bung for advertising anti-dandruff shampoo right in the middle of the worst performances of his career at Euro 2016.
Now he is said to be unhappy at being dropped ruthlessly by new City boss Pep Guardiola for the first Premier League game of the season. And likely so again for tonight’s Champions League qualifier at Steaua Bucharest.
Thank goodness for that. Were Hart delighted at the news he is now second best then there really would be cause to worry about his overall sanity let alone his professionalism.
But while Spaniard Guardiola doubtless doesn’t care a hoot about England’s shabby football team he may well have inadvertently just done them a much-need favour.
By unceremoniously axing Hart he has taken our country’s supposed no.1 goalkeeper out of his comfort zone in a matter of milliseconds.
It’s just a shame that there aren’t more of England’s summer flops enjoying the same kind of rapid grounding as the new domestic season sweeps in and the embarrassment of France fades quickly from the consciousness.
Raheem Sterling springs to mind.
It’s also a pity that the rumours he is already plotting to replace erratic blond bombshell Hart from between his sticks with another foreigner instead of taking a look at a home-grown replacement such as the blossoming Jack Butland at Stoke.
Hart came to symbolise what has been at the core of England’s problems for the past 20 or so years.
That the players are now so uptight with themselves that they have forgotten how to enjoy football.
Hart used to have a beaming smile on his face regardless of the occasion. This summer across The Channel he refused to answer even humorous questions about whether or not he was running the players’ darts league in the lounge at the team HQ.
Well, there’s little chance of his grin coming back anytime soon thanks to Guardiola’s shattering blow.
And Pep’s masterstroke will have served two purposes - it will hopefully spark Hart into life again and make him up his game, forget about lucrative commercial endorsements and focus on football and having fun again.
But it will also make the hairs on the backs of the necks of every Man City player stand up on end at seeing one of their most senior colleagues given the chop in a brutal way.
The rumours are that Hart is now considering his future at Man City rather than facing up to the situation and tackling it head on.
Basically, he is washing his hair of the whole thing and Guardiola has won his first and most important battle of his time as Manchester City boss.