When Will Joe Hart Win Back The Number One Jersey?

Alex Livesey

Ahead of tomorrow's game against Viktoria Plzen there were a couple of interesting comments from Manuel Pellegrini.

Following the victory over Tottenham it was confirmed that Hart would start in the Champions League and in today's press conference Pellegrini rebuffed suggestions that Hart would join Stoke on loan ahead of a potential City move for Asimir Begovic, saying that there is 'no chance' that would depart.

Although Hart starts tomorrow then there is no guarantee that he will remain in goal for the weekend game against Swansea, with Pellegrini keeping his cards close to his chest over the goalkeeping situation. Hart may not return against Swansea but I increasingly think that it is sooner rather than later that Hart returns.

Chatting with shuddertothink we both had a suspicion that Hart would in fact return to the side against Tottenham on the back of his appearance with England. That didn't come to pass and whilst Costel Pantilimon has performed serviceably in relief but although error-free he hasn't shown that he is anything more than a competent back up.

It will be upto Pellegrini and his coaching staff to judge Hart's form and state of mind and assess when he is the time for him to return but it is inconceivable this is a long term plan. By featuring against Viktoria Plzen this may be Pellegrini easing Hart back into the limelight, testing his readiness ahead of a full-time return.

Perhaps Sunday is too soon but the expectation is surely that Hart's time on the bench does not last more than a couple more weeks.

More from Bitter and Blue:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bitter and Blue

You must be a member of Bitter and Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bitter and Blue. You should read them.

Join Bitter and Blue

You must be a member of Bitter and Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bitter and Blue. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker