One of the biggest and undoubtedly the most controversial decision by Pep Guardiola upon his arrival at Manchester City in 2016 was axing Joe Hart, deeming the England goalkeeper to be incompatible with his playing style.
Guardiola drew some criticism when Hart’s replacement, Claudio Bravo, endured a torrid first year in English football, but the arrival of Ederson a year later put all doubts to rest, with the Brazilian exemplifying exactly what Guardiola wants and needs in a goalkeeper.
So how does Hart, who was shipped out on loan to Torino and West Ham, before moving to Burnley this summer for £3.5million, really feel about Guardiola?
To the dismay of the tabloids, Hart had only positive things to say about Pep during an exclusive interview with Sky Sports.
“I’m cool with Pep, I think he’s a top manager,” the former City fan favourite told Matt Murray.
“He came in and was dead honest with me. I looked him in the eye and shook his hand, I thanked him for his honesty. I didn’t thank him for his opinion, but his honesty was second to none.
“We tried to make the best of a bad situation for both of us.”
Hart was no stranger to loan moves earlier in his career, with City sending him to Tranmere, Blackpool and Birmingham City from 2007 to 2010 for experience, before Robert Mancini made him City’s new number one.
But to loaned out approaching 30 was unexpected, and after two years of temporary switches, he had eyes only for a permanent move from the Etihad.
“I made it clear to City that I didn’t want to go on loan again, I had one year left on my contract.
“Like I’ve said before it was a kind of strange situation for me. I know what qualities I bring, I know what I’ve done, and what I can still do, but people weren’t banging the door down for me. That’s the truth.
“In my opinion I think loans are for younger players trying to improve, who have got the whole world in front of them. You’ve got no real ground, no real base or backing as a loan player.
“I’m grateful I’m here with Burnley, and I’m really enjoying it.”
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