I make no bones about having been a strong critic of Joe Hart in the past, and I believe the West Ham loan signing has a lot to prove during the next year
But to the world at large, the England keeper’s signing makes a big statement along with the arrival of Javier Hernandez and record signing Marko Arnautovic. Joe arrives with a lot to prove although he remains a top name. He made mistakes at Torino, there were a few boo-boos at the Euros and he will now be fighting for his England place against the likes of Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford.
When he’s at his best, he’s a superb ‘keeper and probably the number one in the country so maybe now he has competition for the England spot, it could well sharpen his game and be of benefit for the Irons. He has had plenty of critics recently and now has the chance to put them in their place. We want to see the real Joe Hart this season but I can’t believe Adrian will be happy. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
I think Adrian could be on the move either as a loan signing somewhere or something more permanent. Joe’s big attribute is his shot-stopping ability although he sowed some weaknesses when he was in that early Manchester City defence which wasn’t the best.
Since then he improved and established himself firmly at international level but, as I say, the pressure is on him now and that could work very much to our advantage. Like everybody else I am deeply impressed with the signings made by the club this summer and I believe Pablo Zabaleta is a key signing.
He’s a tremendous player and to be honest at his age, I reckon he could be good for us over the next three or four years. The guy has amazing experience and he will bring so much to the dressing room. On the pitch he remains one of the best in his position within the Premier League.
He and Joe will know each other very well and that could bring some real solidity to the defence. It was an early signing and has now almost been forgotten but I think it was as good as any we have seen this summer and they have all been top drawer. As for Arnautovic. and Hernandez, I believe these are extraordinary arrivals.
We were heavily linked with these guys and like most of the fans, I think I started muttering and moaning ‘Here we go again – linked with ‘em all and sign none of them’. But it’s happened and although I’ve not always agreed with the board on some issues – notably the new stadium – every one of us has to congratulate them on the business they have done this summer.
Hernandez is, of course, the eye-catching capture and he is a top signing for the club. I can barely believe we have pulled it off , and absolutely every bit of credit goes to Slaven and the board negotiators who made it happen. It’s an astonishing signing for the club.
He scores goals wherever he goes and is exactly what we need. Make no mistake this lad really is one. I still can’t really believe it’s happened – amazing stuff . We look to be at the start of what could be a very big new era for West Ham United.