Perhaps the biggest story to emerge from the opening day of Premier League action on Saturday came in the form of Joe Hart’s omission from Pep Guardiola’s opening Manchester City XI.
The new Etihad Stadium boss elected to select Willy Caballero over the England national team keeper and comments made by Guardiola after their narrow win over Sunderland won’t have left Hart confident of his future at the club.
When asked for his reasoning behind the decision to drop Hart, who has missed just 11 Premier League matches over the past six seasons, Guardiola didn’t mince his words.
“In this match I made the decisions. I am a guy that takes decisions, I am not afraid about that. I feel it and do it. People in the world are afraid to take decisions. It is not because Joe cannot play. Or Yaya or Samir.
“But I decided for that for many reasons – for training more. I needed one rhythm, higher, so we needed to be so aggressive without the ball to create a good build-up. With Willy, John [Stones] and [Aleksandar] Kolarov we were amazing – for the short time we were together they did really well.
“Now we travel to Romania, [against Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday] we are there to prepare for our final to be in the Champions League. And maybe play new players, I don’t know.”
No doubt rumours will surface linking the 29-year-old with a myriad of supposed ‘interested’ clubs but in truth Joe Hart shouldn’t be surprised that Guardiola has opted for a new face between the sticks.
In all honesty Hart has been living off his reputation for a couple of seasons now and he needs to dig in and work hard to fight for his place, just like any other member of Guardiola’s expansive squad.