Eurozone: Hart & Soul
There are some things that cannot be taught; things like class, charisma, leadership.
Joe Hart may not currently possess his country’s captain’s armband, but the England number one is certainly an heir to the throne.
In a bygone era, goalkeepers have been the outcasts of football, last picked in the playground to stand between the jumpers. But times are a changing and Joe Hart is just the latest instalment of the ‘trendy’ goalkeeper.
In the European game, a goalkeeping idol is not a revolutionary phenomenon. Headed by Kings Casillas and Buffon, this short-sleeved and skilful style has been around longer than Steve McClaren’s Dutch accent. But for English football, this is the first coming and in the shape of Joe Hart, England possess a stylish, level-headed and charismatic beacon, lighting the way for a new generation of stoppers.
If Seaman and James were a feature of England’s analogue years, filling a void but never really top of the range, Joe Hart has brought the nation into HD. For the first time since 1966, England has a goalkeeper to rival the best in the world
On the field, Hart is a solid and reliable goalkeeper with a strong temperament and good footballing ability. An ever-present in Manchester City’s title winning side, the lad from Shrewsbury has become an invaluable asset to whichever side he has appeared for.
Off the field, Hart is equally as impressive. In press conferences he is polite, well-mannered and admirably honest. He doesn’t say what people want to hear, nor does he comment purely for effect or controversy. He speaks with confidence, class and complete regard for supporters and team-mates alike.
All in all Joe Hart is not only a world class performer, but an equally equipped role-model. In an era where footballers are regularly criticised for their conduct and the example they are setting to young people, Hart goes against the grain with his mature and professional nature.
As a potential catalyst for the future, Joe Hart forms the foundations for England’s crusade for success. With a solid base on which to build, if football isn’t coming home soon, it may be gone for good.