The scrutiny that Man City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart’s performances have been subjected to this season have been somewhat harsh at times, but even his staunchest advocates will struggle to muster much of a defence of the Head and Shoulders ambassador’s latest car-crash in the Citizens’ 2-1 Premier League loss against Chelsea.
City are 13/20 to win their Capital One Cup clash at Newcastle, which Hart is likely to be rested for, but without the 100 per cent backing of manager Manuel Pellegrini his absence could be the sign of things to come and we’ve looked at a few possible goalkeeping options open to the Chilean in the coming weeks and beyond.
After Hart was deemed to have been at fault for two of Bayern Munich’s goals in City’s recent Champions League loss at home to the Bundesliga giants Pellegrini stated that, although Hart was still entrusted with the number one jersey at City, he had to up his game and that reserve keeper Pantilimon was more than capable of stepping in.
The Romanian starred in City’s run to the FA Cup final last season and was unlucky not to feature in the loss against Wigan at Wembley after conceding just one goal in five cup games before then.
Pantilimon started in his club’s 5-0 Capital One Cup win against Wigan and could get another chance to stake a claim for regular action when City visit the Magpies in the same competition.
It was widely expected that the departure of Jose Mourinho from Real Madrid would see Spain’s captain restored to the starting line-up at the Bernabeu, but Carlo Ancelotti has thus far resisted the urge to recall the 151-cap keeper with current first-choice Diego Lopez in good form for Los Blancos.
Although Ancelotti has stated that he would like Casillas to stay in the Spanish capital, the former PSG boss has not ruled out the possibility of his skipper leaving in January and City could hardly wish for a better replacement for Hart than a player who has won everything possible at club and international level and is still only 32-years-old.
Pellegrini’s first-choice netminder at Malaga isn’t having the best of seasons this time around and conceded five goals in his last La Liga game as his side went down to a home loss against Celta Vigo.
However, Caballero performed manfully in Los Boquerones’ run to the quarter-finals of the Champions League last term, registering clean sheets against Porto and Borussia Dortmund in the knockout stages and was tipped for a reunion with his old boss over the summer.