Blunder keeper Joe Hart will be dropped for Manchester City's visit to Newcastle United in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday and could even lose his place against Norwich at the weekend. According to the Telegraph, City boss Manuel Pellegrini has finally lost patience with the gaff-prone No.1 and will give Costel Pantilimon a chance to shine tomorrow. Hart also faces an anxious wait to see if he will reclaim his place for the weekend Premier League game against Norwich, after putting in a series of erratic performances. The England international was badly at fault for Chelsea's last-minute winning goal at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and Pellegrini pointedly refused to give his public backing to the shot-stopper in his post-match interviews. It appears as though the latest clanger at the weekend, which saw him rush off his goal-line to block Fernando Torres, only for the Spaniard to round him and easily tap home, was the final straw. Pantilimon has yet to make a Premier League appearance this season but if he impresses against the Magpies, could be given more playing time with Pellegrini seriously contemplating axing Hart. City's coaching staff pinpoint the 26-year-old's loss of form to complacency due to a lack of serious competition for his place, and hope more regular playing time for Pantilimon could abate this. If that fails, Pellegrini could take even more drastic measures, and may look to bring in reinforcements when the January transfer window opens for business. Stokes £15million-rated Asmir Begovic, Real Madrids Iker Casillas and Málagas Willy Caballero are all believed to be on the Chilean coach's radar.
Joseph is an accredited football journalist and has interviewed nearly all of the current 20 Barclay's Premier League managers. He is also a correspondent for Bleacher Report and has written for Caught Offside and Give Me Football.