Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Goalkeepers: Stuart Taylor in, Joe Hart out.

Slightly less exciting news, but still significant nonetheless, City have secured the services of Aston Villa back-up goalkeeper Stuart Taylor. The 28 year-old has spent most of his career as second-choice behind such keepers as Jens Lehmann and Thomas Sorensen, interspersed with loan spells at Crystal Palace, Leicester City, and Cardiff. Whether he is a capable replacement for Shay Given should the unthinkable happen remains to be seen.

Media reports throughout the week have suggested that Joe Hart will be loaned to Birmingham City, and the signing of Taylor all but confirms that this will be the case. It is a sensible move for Hart, who is seeking as many first team games as possible in the lead in to next years World Cup — something that Manchester City simply cannot offer.

I try not to reference the Bluemoon forum on the blog, but this post from 'Spursmad321' on Wednesday 17 June deserves special attention:
Its not earth shattering news, but it is solid info.
Hart will definately be loaned out. Your back up keeper will be Stuart Taylor from Villa. And Elano is history.

As I said its not going to set the world on fire, but when I get anymore info I will keep you informed. I am not here to wind anyone up, I just happen to have a very good source who knows about your club, and I happen to think that you guys and gals deserve to know. If you want to shoot me the please fire away.

PS. Don't worry about RSC & Tevez, they are still Man City players.
I'm not usually one to blindly believe speculation on a message board (especially from a Spurs fan), but this one seems to check out. Anyone could have guessed we might sign Santa Cruz or Tevez, but Taylor?

Oh and this signing came as such a surprise that I was unable to secure exclusive photographs from the ground. My contact will be better prepared next time...

UPDATE 24/06: Joe Hart officially joins Birmingham City on a year-long loan.

It's pretty easy to feel sorry for Joe. Forced to battle Andreas Isaksson and Kasper Schmeichel for the gloves in 2007-08, he quickly became established as the first choice for both Sven Goran Eriksson and Mark Hughes. However, the signing of Shay Given for £8million in January 2009 saw him relegated to the bench.

Whilst not a bad keeper by any means, Hart was uneasy under crosses and did not have particularly strong command of his area. It simply the case that he needs first-team football to improve, and he won't have that opportunity — barring injury and Cup games — at City for the forseeable future.

We may very well have seen the last of Hart in a blue shirt (well techincally, a green or yellow shirt, but you get the point).

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