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Pep: Hart’s future uncertain, will play in preseason

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Joe Hart has returned to Manchester City after spending last season on loan at West Ham, and his future is very much up in the air as it stands.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was asked about Hart’s situation at the pre-match press conference prior to City’s International Champions Cup match against Borussia Dortmund. He confirmed they are shopping the English veteran. “We’re going to try and make a solution for Joe,” Guardiola told reporters, “but if not then he is with us. He’s one of the best professionals I’ve ever seen but at this moment he is with us.”

Guardiola also confirmed that Hart would play in the preseason game against Dortmund. Starting goalkeeper Ederson is not on the roster for the US preseason tour, having returned from participation in the 2018 World Cup with Brazil, although he didn’t play as he served as Alisson’s backup.

The former #1 England goalkeeper, Hart has struggled mightily in recent seasons. He last played a full Premier League season back in 2015/16, starting 35 games for Manchester City. However, he lost his place the following year and was loaned to Italian top flight club Torino. He had mixed success during his one year in Italy and was loaned out to West Ham last campaign with Ederson and Claudio Bravo entrenched at his parent club. Hart only made it half the season before losing his starting spot for the Hammers, replaced by Adrian. That saw him lose not just starting job with the England national team but his place in the squad, forcing Gareth Southgate to take a trio of inexperienced goalkeepers to the World Cup, leading to the emergence of Jordan Pickford.

West Ham returned Hart to Manchester City at the end of the season, and here he sits in limbo again. Hart has just one more year left on his contract, but according to the Manchester Evening News, wants to leave this season on a permanent deal anyway.

Tomorrow, Hart will get the opportunity – albeit a small one – to showcase himself to potential suitors. If he gets another chance to play in the ICC (Manchester City plays Liverpool and Bayern Munich before heading home to England), he will have another opportunity to plead his case.

Joe Hart left out of England squad

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Numerous reports in the UK claim that Joe Hart has been left out of England’s 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup this summer.

With Gareth Southgate expected to name his squad on Wednesday, news has arrived that Hart, 31, will not be going to his third-straight World Cup with the Three Lions.

Hart, who has 75 caps for England, has been their first-choice goalkeeper at each of the last three major tournaments but reports claim he has been told he won’t be going to Russia this summer.

The Manchester City goalkeeper has struggled out on loan at Torino and West Ham over the past two seasons after being ousted as soon as Pep Guardiola arrived to take charge of City.

Hart still has another 12 months to run on his current deal at the Etihad Stadium but he is not expected to return to City given the sensational form of Ederson in goal (who just signed a new seven-year contract), plus Claudio Bravo happy to be Ederson’s back-up.

Who will start in goal for England in Hart’s place?

Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford are the frontrunners, with perhaps Pickford edging ahead of Butland in recent months with his strong displays for Everton in the Premier League and his ability on the ball to start attacks in England’s fairly new 3-4-3 formation.

Butland has endured a season of struggle as he was relegated with Stoke but that’s not to say it will impact him if he starts for England this summer. Burnley’s Nick Pope is expected to be the third and final goalkeeper named in Southgate’s squad, with Southampton’s Alex McCarthy just missing out after a fine end to the season with Saints.

Back to Hart, this is another crushing blow for a goalkeeper who seemed assured of his England spot just 12 months ago. Yet the way in which his form has dipped since being told he was surplus to requirements at City is astonishing.

Several errors during his loan spell at West Ham this season saw him dropped for Adrian and it appears that unless Southgate leaves after this summer or there’s a dramatic upturn in Hart’s displays, his international career could well be over.

For a player who has won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two League Cups and four Golden Gloves for the most clean sheets in the PL, as well as having vast international experience, Hart is struggling to keep his career intact.

Arsenal 4-1 West Ham: Big win for Wenger

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  • Monreal scores fifth of season
  • Arnautovic answers
  • Lacazette thunders home beauty

Aaron Ramsey‘s hopeful cross turned into a match-winning goal as Arsenal beat West Ham United 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Substitute striker Alexandre Lacazette scored a beautiful insurance goal en route to a brace for Arsenal, who moves four points clear of Burnley in the race for sixth. West Ham is six points clear of the drop zone with four matches to play.

Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal a lead and Marko Arnautovic equalized to set the stage for the winner, a ball unclaimed by neither Declan Rice nor Joe Hart.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Arsenal had almost all of the ball, but a slip in defense forced Gunners goalkeeper David Ospina to make a nice parry on Marko Arnautovic’s shot from the right of the box.

Nacho Monreal caused a West Ham turnover deep in West Ham territory, and found Danny Welbeck for a hard shot that bounded wide of the far post.

Granit Xhaka was saved in his 35th minute free kick bid and Welbeck couldn’t get on top of a Hector Bellerin cross to head home less than a minute later.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Monreal put Arsenal ahead in the 51st minute with a low finish past Joe Hart off a corner kick, but the lead didn’t last much more than 10 minutes.

Cheikhou Kouyate‘s shot was blocked to Manuel Lanzini, who quickly fed Arnautovic for a finish.

“Sorry to Chelsea fans” – Chicharito the villain again

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Javier Hernandez came off the bench to score against Chelsea.

That’s something the Blues have seen before, now four times in the Mexican’s fine career. It’s the first time they’ve seen it in the maroon shirt of West Ham United, but still a similar sight.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 1-1 West Ham ]

“Sorry to Chelsea fans,” Hernandez said with a laugh. “Sometimes you get things like that in football. I cannot score against one team, I keep scoring against Chelsea. We get a point, that is the important thing. It’s not a decision of mine to start or not, but I make it difficult for him now.”

The 29-year-old has eight goals this season in 1,455 Premier League minutes, including four in his last seven outings.

His goal had goalkeeper Joe Hart, himself a star on Sunday, praising the diminutive striker for his desire following an international call-up on the other side of the ocean.

“We looked dangerous in the second half,” said Hart. “It’s nice to stay in the game. ‘Chich’ has come back from the other side of the world last week. I’m so glad he got fit for us and got the decisive goal.”

Chicharito wasn’t too happy, though, saying he felt he should’ve found a winner, too.

“Definitely,” Hernandez said. “It was one cross from Marko where if I make the move I can just tap in but these type of games are very difficult. (Against Chelsea) we had to be very clever, very focused. We have our next final against Stoke next weekend.”

The Hammers are now six points clear of the drop zone.

Chelsea 1-1 West Ham United: Super sub Chicharito

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  • Chicharito saves point
  • Azpilicueta scores
  • Hart stars for West Ham
  • Morata twice denied for offside

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored moments after subbing into the match as West Ham United came back to draw Chelsea 1-1 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Cesar Azpilicueta scored for Chelsea, who saw a pair of razor-thin offside calls deprive Alvaro Morata of goals. The Blues sit 10 points back of the Top Four and three ahead of sixth-place Arsenal.

West Ham is six points clear of the drop after added its point to the table.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

West Ham started on the front foot, and Marko Arnautovic won a corner kick when he dribbled into the 18 for a rip toward Thibaut Courtois.

Willian made a dazzling run at the other end, cutting across the center of the park and down the right flank for a cross that Angelo Ogbonna diverted with a terrific slide.

Alvaro Morata had the ball in the net via a nutmeg of Joe Hart, but was offside when he started his run onto Eden Hazard‘s through ball.

Chelsea was feeling its finesse with combination play, and Hart made an outstanding save on Morata only to see Azpilicueta net on the ensuing corner kick.

There were several chances to win the ball off a short corner that Morata put back into the mixer for Azpilicueta to finish.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

More Willian wizardry saw him drag a shot wide of the far corner inside the 46th minute.

The Brazilian played a cross for Morata to score, but the offside flag was raised against the Spaniard for a second time.

It was West Ham who’d find their equalizer when Chicharito darted into space to belt one past Courtois, and that led to a thrilling finish with chances at both ends.