Hart’s options were limited, as domestic rivals of a similar standing were already equipped in the goalkeeping department, leaving the custodian in limbo. At best, the Manchester City stalwart would warm the bench, facing the indignity of sharing the cup responsibilities with his fellow reserve ‘keepers.
Being outside of the Premier League pressure cooker has certainly benefited Hart on a human and sporting level, bechg在线投注ause so little is genuinely expected of Torino, especially compared to Manchester City.
Hart’s eagerly anticipated debut for the Granata came against Atalanta on September 11 and was one to forget. The loaner gifted the hosts’ equalising goal and struggled under the constant aerial bombardment.
Torino have been starved of genuine success for decades and live in the shadow of their rich cousins Juventus, so Hart felt like a prestigious swoop. It must’ve been morale-boosting for him to be mobbed at the airport and forced to wave his new Granata jersey outside the window to appease adoring fans.
In accepting the move, Hart became the first English goalkeeper to sign for a Serie A club since the league’s inauguration in 1929.
Engl真钱赌盘网and have also benefited from the move. Hart put in a Man of the Match showing in the World Cup qualifier against Slovenia, earning his side a valuable point during a period of intense media scrutiny on the national team.
A criticism which has often been levelled at Hart is his excessive bravado and ego. This year he has displayed humility and made a conscientious effort to learn the Italian language, further endearing himself to an adoring fan base who have provided him with unconditional support.
But, perhaps opportunistically, a lifeline was presented to Hart in the form of Torino President Urbano Cairo. He offered Hart a temporary home and in turn, signed a player he believed could provide the star quality and exposure the club needed to meet their growing ambition.
Hart has brought an aura and a winning mentality as well as a great deal of experience to an otherwise very young side. His teammates have visibly been elevated by his arrival and midfielder Joel Obi echoed this sentiment, as “to have a goalkeeper like him changed the mood in the dressing room.” Following his debut, Toro remained unbeaten in six fixtures, picking up three wins, notably against high flyers Roma, and three draws.
The short-term switch may have been viewed as a gamble on Hart’s part, moving to a mid-table side at best, but Toro are firmly in the mix for a European place. The squad can boast Italy’s leading striker in Andrea Belotti and have a goal record only bettered by Juventus and Roma respectively.
As August and the summer transfer window neared its climax, Joe Hart could have been forgiven for thinking this season would be one to forget. The Englishman wasn’t wanted by Citiz打鱼平台ens boss Pep Guardiola and had precious little time to secure a permanent move elsewhere.
Once the season ends, he will look back fondly on a move which has unexpectedly rejuvenated his career. In fact, the Torino experience could and probably should keep going beyond June 2017.
The regular inquests into both individual and collective performances are not as punishing for him in Italy, as he gets the benefit of the doubt in a new environment, and Hart has taken solace in this. Confidence is more important for a goalkeeper than any other role, so feeling like he had a clean slate in Serie A made a big difference.
Fast forward three months and this blip is a distant and isolated memory. The tempo of the league has allowed Hart to hone his abilities, helping the Englishman become a more attractive prospect and meeting the fashionable expectations of the ball-playing goalkeeper.
Sinisa Mihajlovic’s men are one of the league’s most exciting sides and Hart’s role cannot be underestimated in this. The stopper’s “presence makes the rest of the team feel more confident,” said the Serbian Coach.