Joe Hart never had a chance of remaining or reclaiming the no. 1 goalkeeper’s job at Manchester City once Pep Guardiola took over in the summer. He knew it from day one under the Spaniard’s watchful eye.
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In the end, Hart went out on loan to Serie A side Torino after Guardiola made his feelings about Hart quite clear — whether verbally, or through intimation. As for England’s 29-year-old no. 1, he’s already looking forward to sealing the best possible move away from the Etihad Stadium this summer — quotes from the Guardian:
“I don’t think City are going to be standing in the way — if somebody really wants me, then I’m probably going to be made available. So it will be about talking and working out what is next and what the best move is for whichever club that might be and for myself.
“I’ve not been sent here to see how I do or see if I improve. I’ve been sent out because I wasn’t wanted. I’m not here to prove what I can do, I’m here because I need to look elsewhere and I didn’t have a chance to sort anything permanently.
“I came in after the other players because of the Euros, and when we first had a conversation he said he had his reservations about me. I shook his hand, I said it was professionally honest, but not what I wanted to hear. I said I wanted to work for him and see what happens but I got the impression that it wasn’t really going anywhere. I got the feeling I wasn’t going to play.”
Hart won’t be short on options when his loan spell ends and the summer transfer window begins. Just about any mid-table side in the Premier League would view him as a massive replacement over their current starter, while a big-money move for any one of David De Gea, Thibaut Courtois or Hugo Lloris could pave the way for Hart to take the slightest of steps down and once again compete for PL titles.
The struggling New York Red Bulls got a major let-off Wednesday with the news that Kaku would only be suspended two more matches for blasting a ball into a group of fans.
It’s a total of three matches away from the Red Bulls after the incident, which occurred against Sporting KC on April 14.
[ MORE: Manchester Derby recap ]
Someone must have convinced the league that Kaku’s intent was to smash the ball into the advertising boards and not the fans, and injuring a spectator certainly could’ve carried a much longer suspension than three matches.
Kaku already missed a match against New England and will sit out matches against FC Cincinnati and the LA Galaxy.
The 24-year-old midfielder, thrice capped by Paraguay, has seven goals and 14 assists during little more than a season with RBNY. The Red Bulls have started the season 1W-4L-2T.
Manchester United has spent a lot of money on players, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the talent on show at Old Trafford is nothing compared to rivals Manchester City.
What else could he say after his rivals outclassed him 2-0 on Wednesday, a club which wasn’t even in the same league — physically and metaphorically — for half of his tenure as a player for Manchester United?
[ MORE: Manchester Derby recap | 4 things ]
“They had too much for us,” Solskjaer said after the loss. “They are the best team in the country, they have set the standard in the last two seasons and I don’t know how many points they’ve taken. What Pep Guardiola has done with his players is remarkable and we are so close to it in the vicinity so we feel it every day.”
This was a different loss than the lackluster 4-0 blowout at the hands of Everton on Sunday, as United definitely worked hard but had little to offer in attack aside from a few choice Paul Pogba long balls and some wayward finishing from an industrious Jesse Lingard.
“There is a difference in quality,” Solskjaer said in another interview. “That is why they are top and we are where we are. Living in Manchester we cannot be happy with that. It is up to us to close that gap and overtake them.”
[ MORE: Pep reacts | Sane with NBCSN crew ]
We bet every one those words felt like broken glass climbing out of Solskjaer’s throat.
It’s going to take a squad revolution and then time to settle into a new reality. United is probably at least another full season from contending with City, even given last season’s runner-up finish.
And that has to be weird for a manager who was used to seeing the noisy neighbors stationed in the Championship. Solskjaer knows he has a lot of work to do at Old Trafford. Will his bosses let him do it?
Leroy Sane added a second 10-goal season to his Premier League resume on Wednesday when Man City beat Manchester United 2-0 at Old Trafford.
That he did so in about 650 less minutes says something about his growth and patience as Pep Guardiola has opted to focus on other options in attack.
[ MORE: Manchester Derby recap | 4 things ]
“The mood is obviously you want to play every game but in this squad it’s sometimes normal that you can sit on the bench,” Sane said in a post-match pitch-side talk with the NBCSN crew.
“It’s why I’m not really disappointed. I think in my own head to work harder and stay focused. On the pitch there are really good players playing good. I appreciate it, I enjoy it, and I can learn from this.”
Arlo White asked Sterling whether he believes City are the favorites to win the Premier League title. Liverpool is a point behind City, but has two of its three remaining matches at home compared to City’s one.
“It’s hard to say,” Sane said. “There’s a lot of pressure from Liverpool, but we stay focused on game to game. We have it in our own hands, so just stay focused, and try to win the last three games.”
Pep Guardiola and Manchester City are officially over their UEFA Champions League exit, and now salivating at the idea of defending their Premier League crown following a 2-0 defeat of Manchester United on Wednesday.
And the manager is now demanding that his players get laser-focused on the game-by-game.
[ MORE: Recap | 3, er, 4 things ]
“I told the players don’t read tomorrow, don’t watch the television, just rest and sleep a lot and go in there against Burnley,” Guardiola said.
The Man City boss says the side’s early second half changes, taking off Fernandinho to move in Leroy Sane and slot Ilkay Gundogan a bit deeper made the difference from 0-0 to 2-0.
“We knew without Romelu Lukaku they would try more runs in behind,” he said. “The chances we lost came from us losing simple balls in the middle and we changed things in the second half, with Ilkay Gundogan in the middle and with Leroy Sane on we were more dynamic.”
And Guardiola tried to find the words to explain how either Man City or Liverpool will walk away from this season at second place in the league despite being two of the greatest sides ever produced by England.
“Both teams deserve the title, but it can be just one,” Guardiola said. “The team that is going to lose cannot have regrets because they have given everything. Normally with this kind of victory you can it enjoy it the most but now we have to be calm. We have to be in the right phase.”