Pellegrini wrong to drop Hart, says Schmeichel

The former shot-stopper has launched a strong defense of the Manchester City man, saying he is a "unique goalkeeper" and the club's defensive problems are not purely his fault

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel says he disagrees with Manuel Pellegrini’s decision to drop Joe Hart, saying the City No. 1 has not "done too much wrong".

The England international was omitted from the Manchester City starting lineup after a series of mistakes, the latest coming during Chelsea’s 2-1 win over City, when Fernando Torres capitalized on a defensive mix-up to secure a late victory.

Costel Pantilimon took Hart’s place in the City team for the 7-0 victory over Norwich City and was again in the side for the midweek 5-2 win over CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. 

However, Schmeichel doesn’t think Hart deserved to lose his place in the team and feels the club's defensive problems are not purely down to the Englishman.

"I don't think he's done too much wrong,” he told BBC Radio 5 live. "Sometimes things aren't working for you, but when it's Joe Hart it's highlighted like he's killed someone. I disagree with Pellegrini's decision. I disagree with the whole debate about Joe Hart.”

"He might have had the odd situation, but he hasn't gone from being an absolutely brilliant keeper to what he is being portrayed as now,” he continued. "Why is it that when you finally have an English goalkeeper who has the quality to become the first part of the spine that can actually take England somewhere, everyone wants to drag this kid down? 

"You have a unique goalkeeper here, someone who is very, very good even on his bad days.”

Schmeichel, who was voted the world’s best goalkeeper in 1992 and 1993 by the IFFHS, said Hart can’t be blamed for all the team’s woes.

"When you look at the goals he has been criticized for, at some point they could have been prevented by a defender or it was a misunderstanding,” he said. “It is not down to Joe Hart on his own. Manchester City have got problems at the back."