Legends' heart to Hart advice
- Wed 16 Feb 2011, 4:55PM
- Posted by Alex Rowen
Joe Hart has been offered warm words of encouragement from his most illustrious predecessor as the City goalkeeper's form comes under increasingly intense scrutiny in line with his status as England's No.1.
Hart's rare lapses are vulnerable to a merciless media spotlight - but the great Bert Trautmann, has assured the Blues keeper that errors are par for the course and he should learn from them rather than dwell on them.
City legend Bert also backs Roberto Mancini’s decision to keep faith in Hart. Though he accepts that Shay Given would be a first-class replacement, Trautmann believes that Hart must be given the chance to grow and improve.
He said: “You have to give a young goalkeeper a chance. It’s the right thing to continue to play Joe in goal. He will make mistakes, like we all have as goalkeepers.
”But it's vital that he is given the time he needs. These days we seem to want everything to be done yesterday, and people should be patient. He is as good as any young keeper I have seen around Europe."
Trautmann will always be remembered for his own goalkeeping heroics, not least the 1956 FA Cup Final, where even breaking his neck couldn’t deter the German favourite from finishing the Wembley victory over Birmingham.
But when comparisons are being made, Bert laughs off any suggestion that he was infallible, confessing that for all his success over half a century before Hart, he too was prone to the odd mistake or two.
Mancini has declared that Hart is capable of becoming the best in the world. Trautmann believes he has all the tools to achieve that target, and insists Hart should be judged on how he performs throughout the season, rather than by any odd errors he might make.
Trautmann said: “I was a good keeper, but there were times when I should have fisted the ball away, and tried to catch it instead, dropped it and we conceded a goal – because of my mistake.
"On the other hand, I saved us a lot of goals as well! The greatness of a goalkeeper is measured in how much work he takes away from his defenders."
Joe Corrigan echoes Mancini's sentiments - and offers the same advice that came his way as a trainee at Shrewsbury Town from then-manager and former Northern Ireland and Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg.
Corrigan recalls being told: “You’re a nice young kid, but when you cross that line, I don’t want you to be. You hate being beaten and you hate defenders more than you hate forwards. Defenders never listen to you, and you always have to make up for their mistakes, but they never make up for yours.”