Following Manchester City’s demolition of Tottenham Hotspur, Manuel Pellegrini had an important announcement to make.
“Joe Hart will play on Wednesday. You can stop worrying.”
On Wednesday the Citizens take on Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League, and their embattled goalkeeper will be back between the sticks.
Hart has featured just once since being benched by Pellegrini on October 30 – for England in their recent 1-0 friendly loss to Germany.
He’s ridden the pine for four of City’s matches since, and one England international game as well.
Nothing has yet been said about Manchester City’s next Premier League matchup against Swansea City on December 1. It would be fair to assume that normally a match like the one Wednesday would be akin to a backup’s role, meaning it’s no guarantee Hart is back in his full-time job.
Costel Pantilimon has filled in for Hart in the 26-year-old’s absence, and while he hasn’t put a foot wrong in that time, he admittedly hasn’t had much to do.
The Romanian fill-in has been the benefactor of 14 goals in the four games he’s played during this spell, while conceding just three.