The following new broke this evening:
Sunday Mirror: Joe Hart is almost certain to sign a new 5-year deal after being assured he is City's first choice goalkeeper.— City Watch (@City_Watch) October 11, 2014
Yes, it's the Sunday Mirror but this extension has been rumoured to be in negotiation for some time. This news makes a lot of sense, really.
It's late here where I reside and maybe the bottle of rum and bag of ice next to my keyboard has darkened my mood a little more than it should be on this Saturday night but I have to say what I'm going to say: I'm not sure I like an extension for Joe Hart.
- 5 years is a long, looooong time. It will take Joe Hart up to his 33rd birthday. Players age. Aging players decline.
- In my mind there are questions regarding Joe's suitability to this City team. Is Joe Hart an elite goalkeeper? I'm not convinced he is. Maybe Man City don't need an elite goalkeeper what with all the elite talent they have elsewhere on the pitch but a club of the stature of Manchester City should try to procure the best available talent they can for every single position.
- The popular narrative is that goalkeepers improve with age, that the experience they accumulate leads to constant improvement as they age. I am not convinced this is true. Can ever so slight improvements in judgement and positioning cover for more pronounced decline in agility and reflexes?
I don't think a 5 year deal for Joe Hart would be a disaster, it would be fine in real terms. Yet there is a nagging suspicion that there are better goalkeepers out there who could improve upon Joe Hart's performance levels. If I add that to my suspicions that goalkeepers don't improve much once into their mid 20's and that these same 'keepers decline in and around their 30's then how wise would it be to give a 27/28 year old a new 5 year deal?
Talk away in the comments. Let me know if I am off track here.