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Report: Joe Hart to be dropped for Capital One Cup final

Feb 28, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT

Hart Reuters

According to a report in The Guardian, Manuel Pellegrini has decided to start Costel Pantilimon for the final of the Capital One Cup on Sunday against Sunderland at Wembley.

The move reflects the complete opposite of last season, when Roberto Mancini dropped Pantilimon in favor of Hart for the FA Cup final, despite the Romanian having played in every previous match of the competition. Manchester City ultimately lost that final to Wigan.

The report in The Guardian didn’t get Pantilimon to publicly bite on the news, quoting him as saying, “Only the manager can say this. We don’t know what the team is going to be.”

However, they still went as far as to report that Pantilimon is “set to be chosen” by Pellegrini on Sunday.

Dropped by Pellegrini earlier this season for nine matches across all competitions, Hart has reclaimed his place aside from the FA Cup, where the manager has stuck with Pantilimon.

Speaking about being dropped for the first time since the occurance in November, Hart told the BBC, “You have to be able to accept when you are playing or not,” and that he has to be “man enough to take it.”

Since Hart’s return from the bench at the end of 2013, Manchester City has dropped just five points out of a possible 30 in the Premier League.

  1. atxnole - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    I don’t think dropped is the right word in this scenario. The second choice keeper has been selected for all of the Cup games. Costel deserves a chance to play in Wembley after it was taken from him last year.

    • bellerophon30 - Mar 1, 2014 at 8:24 AM

      I totally agree, Hart isn’t being dropped. Costal is a capable keeper about to play against a toothless Sunderland team, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be playing. This is what the League Cup is for, giving bench guys some run and starters some rest.

      Now what happens in the FA Cup going forward should be interesting.

  2. chunkala - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    Good move for MC, this guy has sucked for a long time now but it has taken years for people and the team to admit it.

  3. iugonzo - Feb 28, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    Man City lost to Wigan in the final of the FA Cup last year. Swansea won the Capital One Cup last year, beating Bradford City in the final.

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