Andy Gray column: I loved Joe Hart’s reaction after Manchester City loss

Joe Hart's reaction was perfectly normal after Manchester City squandered a 2-1 lead at the Bernabeu, writes Andy Gray

joe hart
Joe Hart criticised City's display after the defeat by Real Madrid Football.ua, via Wikimedia

joe hart

Joe Hart was publicly rebuked by Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini for criticising the team after they threw away a 2-1 lead against Real Madrid on Tuesday – but in my book there was absolutely nothing wrong with the goalkeeper’s reaction.

I loved it, in fact – I don’t think any less of him at all. He wasn’t blaming an individual or a particular unit of the team, he was blaming everybody, the collective, the ‘we’.

And he is absolutely right. If City want to win the Champions League or even come close to winning it then they have to learn, even in places like the Bernabeu, that when you are a goal up with five minutes to go you can’t lose the game.

I wouldn’t have had a problem with Joe voicing his disappointment. Mancini obviously did but I think it shows that it matters to Joe and that it hurts, and that’s what you want to see from your players.

In Mancini’s eyes, he wasn’t wrong to respond to Joe and say it was not his job to criticise the team, but sometimes foreign managers differ from British ones.

I don’t think Sir Alex Ferguson would have thought anything of Paul Scholes coming out and saying Manchester United weren’t good enough in their Champions League opener against Galatasaray on Wednesday, and that they needed to do better.

Far from it – Sir Alex even used to praise Roy Keane when he was his skipper for saying things about the team when they hadn’t been up to scratch.

City might have lost against Madrid but I don’t think it’s a bad start for them at all. I was at the game and they were 2-1 up with nine minutes to go which is no mean feat.

They lost a game everyone expected them to lose but they gave one of the favourites in this competition the biggest fright they have had for quite some time, on their home ground too, so there are a lot of positives they can take from it.

City will get better as the group stage goes on and they will be fine as long as they win their home games and pick up a point or two away, which I think they can at Dortmund and Ajax on the evidence of what I saw.

The end result was a disappointment but there is no need to be disheartened.

Andy Gray is an official ambassador for Sharethematch.com – Football’s Social Network. Available now for FREE online or at the App Store.

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