“You want a heart. You don’t know how lucky you are not to have one,” said the Wizard of Oz. As the news circulates of our recent loan signing of Joe Hart, I wonder if he’ll be an upgrade on the two goalkeepers we already have. Adrian and Randolph didn’t have great seasons last year, but who did in the claret and blue? Hart isn’t exactly coming off the back of his best season either. After dropping to number 3 at Manchester City, Hart was shipped out on loan to Torino. That didn’t mean he could avoid the spotlight. A number of gaffes and poor decisions littered social media. That being said Hart has won plenty of silverware and still retains the England number 1 jersey.
Using Squawka there are some interesting stats emerging. Despite playing almost half the amount of games as Hart, Adrian has kept one more clean sheet. Whilst this could be attributed to the form of the team in front, West Ham finished with fewer wins and points than Torino over in Serie A. This could be backed up with Adrian’s higher saves per goal. Joe Hart also has almost double the number of saves as both Adrian and Randolph but that becomes relative in regards to their minutes played.
Ironically, a stat that Hart excels in comparison is in his distribution. Despite being left out by Guardiola for his distribution, he had a 73% success rate last season at Torino, 17% better than Randolph and 18% better than Adrian. This could be a key reason for Bilic’s decision to bring Hart in. Playing five at the back limits a number of bodies in midfield to win the ball from goal kicks. If Joe Hart can accurately distribute the ball to the likes of Carroll or Kouyate in the midfield, we can press on and relieve pressure on the defense.
Another stat is the number of catches and punches, suggesting to me that Hart is much better at dominating his box and being more vocal when claiming the ball. This could be what we need, a strong leader from the back. Now with the likes of Reid, Zabaleta, and Fonte at the back, we have now excuses and a wealth of experience in defense. This could be Bilic’s attempt to sure up the defense with players who know how to keep clean sheets and win games in the Premier League.
Whilst Hart has been known to make the occasional gaffe, Adrian and Randolph have been much the same. We had one of the highest rates of mistakes leading to goals last season. If Hart is a risk, I don’t think we will be much safer with the likes of Adrian or Randolph. Personally, the move for Hart is a great one. Especially now Hart has a point to prove and Manchester City are helping to pay the wages. Hart will vastly strengthen our defense next season. Unlike the tin man, I wouldn’t settle for what we’ve already got. We need a top international keeper and Joe Hart is still the real deal.