What a game to take a point from for West Ham, scoring a second half equalizer to knick a point from reigning league Champions Chelsea. While Arnautovic made a sublime no look back pass to find Chicharito for the goal, the man of the match was undoubtedly West Ham’s keeper Joe Hart.
His game was really amazing which wasn’t really what Hammers fans had been expecting from their underperforming loanee from Manchester City. He was able to hide behind poor team play early in the season, but lost his place under Moyes once he had a string of bad starts.
In similar fashion to how Adrian won the net back, since loosing his starting job has been nothing but a professional, putting in hard training shifts and being patient. And like Adrian, Hart has now had success against Chelsea to hopefully start a positive run of games for him.
Hart finished the game with five saves, four of them being ten-bell show stoppers. Early on he was beat on an offside goal by Eden Hazard, shortly there after Willian had the exact same opportunity but Hart kicked out his foot to deflect the attempt over the top bar. He also pushed a shot fading away from him onto the bar, and made a SPECTACULAR diving stop to his right keeping what looked like a sure thing away into the stands.
Hart needed this performance as much as West Ham did. He has spent time with England this season falling from England’s number one to the veteran goalkeeper brought in to help the likes of Pickford, Butland, and Pope take the next step. Performances like this will help Hart reassert himself into the mind of England manager Gareth Southgate.
Hart really has benefitted from two players coming into form in front of him with Angelo Ogbonna and Declan Rice. Both centre backs have been central to West Ham turning their season into something salvageable. Ogbonna signed a new contract this offseason and Rice is likely to sign a big boy deal in the coming weeks. These two are showing they can be counted on as centre pieces in Moyes back three next season, and Hart is appreciative of their performances.
It is unlikely Hart gets a permanent contract from this one performance, as rumoured in every Football rag in London. However, his performance vs Chelsea will likely make a lot of people forget about his poor performances this season. Realistically that wasn’t Joe Hart. He shouldn’t have left England for Torino, and now with a string of games hopefully he can get that Premier League form back!