West Ham United goalkeeper Joe Hart has admitted he left Manchester City this summer instead of starting a fight he would never win with manager Pep Guardiola.
Hart was told almost immediately that he was not part of Guardiola’s plans at City when he arrived as manager of the club, and has since been loaned out to Serie A club Torino and is now enjoying a spell at West Ham.
The England international admits he had been through a similar situation at the club back in 2009 when Mark Hughes was managing City, and dropped him for Shay Given. However, the 30-year-old says this time around, there was no way that fighting for the No.1 spot would have paid off, saying there would only be one winner out of him and the Spanish boss.
Speaking to The Offside Rule Exclusives, Hart said: “When I was 22, when Hughes did it, it made me a lot angrier than it did this time. I didn’t know how to deal with or how to cope with it.”
“So when this happened I was all up for a fight, and a fair fight is good for me and if I lose I will shake hands with my opposition, but I realised this wasn’t going to be my opportunity for a fair fight so I looked elsewhere.”
“There was no point getting upset or irate because there was only ever going to be one winner and that was going to be the guy who Manchester City had put in charge.”
“He has a lot of power and City fought like hell to get him as their manager and he had decisions to make and he made that with me.”
“That’s life and that’s football. We all want a fair chance at everything but that’s not how it works. I’m not going to second guess why he wanted to get rid of me.”
“The only thing that came of it is that I had to leave. Why he did it or what his intentions were I don’t really care because it makes no difference to my life.”
“It would be a lie to say I didn’t want to spend the rest of my career at City but it was too good an opportunity to turn down.”
“Third or fourth choice at City or to go and play in Serie A so I took it.”