Joe Hart’s after match comments will most probably earn him a bollocking from the manager, perhaps even more than the mistake itself will. In saying that “this is how the manager wants us to play” he’s deflecting from his own lack of concentration.
He better get a grip on himself and fast, because nobody thinks that second goal was anyone’s fault but his. Nobody. Not Ange, not his team-mates, not the media, not the fans. Nobody.
One man and one man only takes the rap for that; the one he sees in the mirror.
When a top pro makes an error like that, he needs to own it.
He has accepted that he was at fault, but not ultimate responsibility. In seeking to deflect he’s simply not owning the mistake, and it’s his and only his. All he had to do was concentrate and that doesn’t happen tonight.
All he has to do is realise that the defender is too far in front of him to risk that kind of pass and not make it. The manager has told him to play it out from the back, but that doesn’t mean he should be suicidally devoid of thought.
Most managers will tolerate a mistake like that, but only if the player completely cops to it and holds up his hands. Few will tolerate being used as a shield to hide behind, and that’s what Hart has done here whether he intended to or not.
I suspect he didn’t.
I suspect that he said that on the spur of the moment tonight without thinking it through.
Because, let’s face it, that’s what he did out on the pitch.
That moment of madness from him has cost us big time tonight.
He said he’s to blame, and that’s where he should have left it. The system is not at fault. If he takes an extra second to think about that or calls Taylor back to receive the pass, we could have been looking at a different outcome.
The big guy colossally messed that up … and that’s why he’s the story of the night.