Home is where the Hart is
On Tuesday evening, it became apparent that Joe Hart had been left out of England’s World Cup squad. The news came as little surprise to anyone who has actually watched Hart play for West Ham this season. Or indeed watched Hart not play for West Ham this season, given that he was dropped by David Moyes for Adrian.
By Wednesday morning, Hart was on the attack:
‘Joe Hart is furious after being ruthlessly axed from England’s World Cup squad,’ say the Daily Mail. The same story is the back-page lead in the Daily Mirror and The Sun, while Henry Winter in The Times also writes a column in the same vein. Hart and his PR team have been busy.
‘The goalkeeper is believed to be angry with West Ham manager David Moyes for leaving him out of the club’s final three games of the season – which is understood to be a key reason behind Southgate’s shock decision,’ the Mail continue.
Mediawatch thinks that the complete lack of introspection on Hart’s part says plenty about why he has been unable to halt his steady decline in form over the past two years, but blaming Moyes for his World Cup omission really does take the biscuit.
Funnily enough, Moyes’ only task over the last six months wasn’t getting Hart to the World Cup; he also had to manage West Ham. Hart conceded 30 goals in West Ham’s first 14 games, and was then dropped. Adrian then conceded 24 goals in West Ham’s next 15 games. Hart conceded nine goals in West Ham’s next five games. You can see Moyes’ point.
Hart had one shot (that he probably didn’t save) to own the story, to appear on the back pages saying that you weren’t good enough, the other three goalkeepers are great and that you will do everything in your power to regain your place. And he cocked it. The one time he actually needed to front up, he didn’t.
Still, blame Moyesy. How dare he pick the goalkeeper in form?
But he does have one fan
Feel sorry for Joe Hart. Not the keeper he was, but love the fact he's so passionate about playing for England. https://t.co/JSC442s8uq
— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) May 15, 2018
We’re still backing the ‘pick players for how good they are at football’ approach for now. Or we might as well have the England band and that big lad who takes his top off at every game in defence.
‘On being told that he would not be going to the World Cup, Hart reacted in typically dignified fashion’ – Henry Winter, The Times.
‘Hart took the call from manager Gareth Southgate graciously’ – Matt Lawton and Sami Mokbel, Daily Mail.
‘Hart took the call from Southgate well’ – John Cross, Daily Mirror.
Presumably getting your representatives to leak stories to the media blaming your club manager for your lack of international call-up counts as ‘typically dignified’?
Writes Dave Kidd in The Sun:
‘At the last count, 14 of the 20 managers who took charge of Premier League teams during the final round of matches could leave this summer.’
Erm, really? Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton, Leicester, West Ham, Swansea and West Brom. To Mediawatch, that seems like the reasonable maximum number of clubs who will change manager this summer. That’s seven. So Kidd is doubling that number.
‘Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Sean Dyche, Eddie Howe, Chris Hughton and Roy Hodgson are the only ones content to stay and safe in the knowledge that they are wanted.’
Right, well ‘content to stay and safe in the knowledge that they are wanted’ is not quite the opposite of ‘could leave this summer’.
But also, there’s an awful lot of reaching to leave Jose Mourinho, David Wagner, Rafael Benitez, Paul Lambert, Mark Hughes AND Mauricio Pochettino off that list. An awful lot of reaching.
‘Wenger might decide he is better off keeping out of it in the future.’
Yes, pray for poor Sam Allardyce. He’ll only earn £9m in wages and pay-off for his six-month spell at Everton.
It’s a game of opinions, but on the morning of the day that Gareth Southgate will announce his England World Cup squad the Daily Mail’s Joe Bernstein has picked Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish in his England squad.
Good luck with that – and good luck when using a bonuskode.
Barman, a pint of wine
“I know all about Everton and what you have to achieve. I want it to be a long-term appointment. There are tough times and there are times when you have to draw in and close the doors and stay focused on what you want to try to achieve. I came out of retirement because there’s a long-term plan that I was excited to be a part of. I am having talks with Farhad Moshiri, but those talks are confidential” – Sam Allardyce, March 8.
“We discussed plans for next season yesterday with Farhad. I think we have some clarity moving forward now. I think our pre-season, in terms of when we start back and where we go, is nearly in place. It is a wait-and-see basis in terms of what we can try and achieve and then, under those circumstances, what players do we move on. Didn’t I just say that [I was staying]? For clarification, yes” – Sam Allardyce, April 27.
‘Everton Football Club can confirm that Sam Allardyce has left his role as manager’ – Everton, May 16.
Me love you long-term
“Sam Allardyce understands the long-term ambitions we have for this great club and I know he is a man who gives it his all and is focused 24 hours a day” – Farhad Moshiri, November 2017.
“We have made the decision that, as part of our longer-term plan, we will be appointing a new manager this summer” – Farhad Moshiri, May 2018.
You can’t just keep saying the word ‘long term’ as you appoint and notoriously sack short-term managers.
Has Charlie Sale mentioned that p*ssing darts competition again?
‘There will surely be no repeat of the England squad keeping details of their Euro 2016 in-house darts competition under wraps now that Joe Hart has missed out on the squad heading to Russia.
‘Hart said in France: ‘I’m not here to talk about darts.’ Gareth Bale’s response — ‘Right boys, do you want to know the table tennis results?’ — summed up just how different England and Wales were in dealing with the media.’
Yes. He actually has. Truly valuable investigative work.
Sports news of the day
‘Liverpool star Roberto Firmino enjoys passionate kiss with wife Larissa Pereira on luxury yacht in Ibiza’ – The Sun.
We’re just surprised that Daniel Cutts didn’t get a quote from an unnamed source for this one.
Creepy, letchy lines of the day
‘Roberto Firmino lays a kiss on wife Larissa… while showing off bulge in his swimming shorts.’
‘He also showed off his pearly white teeth after jumping on a jet ski for a quick zip around the sea.’
‘Larissa showed off her peachy rear and stunning body in a tiny two-piece.’
‘Firmino seemed to enjoy the view as his wife showed off her shapely body on the boat.’
‘He was joined by his glamorous partner Larissa, who sizzled as she peeled off.’
This. Is. Journalism.
Inaccurate weather report of the day
‘The pair looked loved-up, as they laughed and joked in the soaring 22C temperatures while on the boat with pals’ – The Sun.
22?! Soaring? That’s 71 degrees Fahrenheit, guys. You need a thin jacket.
Weird, vague accusation of the day
‘England manager Gareth Southgate, who surprisingly has allowed his World Cup players carte blanche to go on long-haul holidays, may not have any worries about Harry Kane playing golf in Bermuda. But can he say the same about Dele Alli taking a private jet somewhere on Tuesday?’ – Charlie Sale, Daily Mail.
Mediawatch has things that it wants to say here, but can’t…
Recommended reading of the day
David Conn on Swansea.
The Daily Telegraph’s 50 best players of the season.