Big decisions to make for this match. I can't imagine being Manuel Pellegrini today. I doubt he sleeps a wink tonight.
On one hand, you have England's No 1, who has been near the top of the list of world-class keepers for a few seasons now. He's only 26, with another 5+ years where he could be the rock at the back of the club. Problem is, on the other hand, you have a keeper who has already let in 15 goals in 13 games, including at least one in the last 6 matches. The last clean sheet for City was way back on September 24, when we bushwacked Wigan.
If you're Pellegrini, do you sit Joe Hart? If so, you are starting down a road that likely leads to him moving to another team. Keepers are by nature eccentric people. It takes something nutty to make you decide to let people kick objects as hard as they can at you, and be ok with it. Once you sit a keeper, it's hard to get their confidence back. The situation that Real Madrid have been in with Iker Casillas for the last year shows that difficulty. They have been keeping a player on the bench that has won 1 World Cup, 2 Euros, 2 Champion's Leagues, and 5 La Liga titles. If he can't get his head right, what will happen with Joe?
I don't have a ready answer. He's been awful this season. He hasn't been good at getting the defense organized, and we've been giving up a lot of silly s*** goals. The last one against Chelsea almost broke me. I got so irrationally angry that I just turned the tv off and refused to talk about the game for a few days.
If there was ever a game to get confidence back, it's this one against Norwich. They've scored 3 goals in their last 5 games, including getting thumped by Arsenal and Man Utd. They're sitting in 18th, trying to get back on track. It doesn't help to play both Manchester clubs in back to back weeks.
The match is also at home, where we have won all 4 of our matches this season.
End of the day, I have no idea what you do in this situation. I do know that we need to get winning right now. Remember how awful United have been this season? They're only 2 points behind us. We're 6 points out of first, and 3 points out of 4th. If benching Hart means you give up fewer goals per game, then I think you have to make that move.
UPDATE - Daily Mail is reporting that he will be dropped. We'll see.
Other team news - Vincent Kompany is expected to miss another 3 matches at least. His absence is probably the biggest reason we've been so flimsy at the back. Nastasic is good, but he is way less effective when partnered with Lescott/Demichelis/Richards. Hopefully Vinny will be back for the Tottenham match Nov 24. Stevan Jovetic went off in the first 5 minutes against Newcastle, but there's no timetable yet for his return.
Expected starting XI. Aguero is a given, and Negredo probably is too. They've worked really well together this season, and look to compliment each other well. It was interesting to hear Tim Howard doing the commentary for the Chelsea game. One of his interesting takes was that his Everton defenders said that Negredo was exhausting to mark. He doesn't look it, but he is incredibly strong.
Jesus Navas just played an exhausting 120 minutes of bombing up and down the touchline, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Samir Nasri get another start on the right. Add in David Silva, Yaya, and Fernandinho, and there won't be too many changes for the attacking players.
Predicition - City 3 - Norwich 0. I think Aguero and Negredo will be too much for Norwich to handle.