Joe Hart's first class response to his Manchester City exit shows a newfound maturity

The chest thumping in the tunnel, the swagger, it was easy to understand why not everyone in professional football had sympathy for Joe Hart when Pep ­Guardiola came along.

Manchester City ­supporters had remained loyal, but his calamitous performances at Euro 2016, normally preceded by a psyching-up routine in the tunnel that looked strictly for the camera, meant Hart was hardly a national favourite.

Let’s face it. Hart always seemed a little bit cocky.

Roy Keane called it, a good while back.

He seemed, like many fine ­goalkeepers before, just a little bit too cocky.

Joe Hart in Head & Shoulders adver
Joe Hart starring in his shampoo advert

For a start, you’ve got to have some front to do those shocking shampoo adverts.

You had to have even more front to claim, after a Euro 2016 group stage, in which he let in two soft goals, that you hadn’t “had anything to do in the whole tournament” and that, in the first knockout round, ­“nobody will want to play us”.

All in all, with Guardiola making it clear the ­England keeper had no future at the Etihad, it was a ­chastening summer for Hart – but his ­response has been first class.

In an interview with the BBC last week, he spoke honestly and ­candidly, about a kink in his career that not many saw coming.

Joe Hart believes his future lies AWAY from Manchester City

“He didn’t do it to ruin my life, he did it because he thought that was what was right for him to win as a ­manager,” said Hart.

Now, whether it was the “right” thing to do is a moot point.

There are probably not many who think Manchester City would be further away from Chelsea, had Hart been the keeper all season.

But Hart has accepted the ­situation with maturity.

To go to Torino in the first place was bold, to become fondly ­accepted by the club, the players and the fans is an achievement.

Hart has made a concerted ­effort to adapt, even though ­probably for one season. To judge a goalkeeper properly, you have to watch him week in, week out.

Watch: Joe Hart trains with Torino

Again, though, by all accounts, Hart has generally performed well.

In a mid-table team, he has kept five clean sheets in 25 Serie A ­appearances, conceding 39 goals.

While he would clearly like to return to the Premier League, Hart insisted the only condition of any move this summer would be that it has to be to a club that wanted him as their keeper.


It is a commendable attitude.

Even though Pep said he will make a decision at the end of the season, there is surely no way back for Hart under Guardiola.

If nothing else, a distribution success rate of 60-odd per cent sees to that.

Pep Guardiola talks to goalkeeper Joe Hart during a training session
Guardiola didn’t take long to ditch Hart
(Photo: PA Wire)

Yet, one thing is for certain.

When his Italian job is over, Hart will be a better keeper than the one who looked foolish in France last summer.

At least England and Gareth Southgate will be grateful for that.

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