Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Everyone enjoyed Joe Hart's cheeky explanation for his black eye


Joe Hart admits he would have preferred to find a permanent move away from Manchester City as he prepares to make his competitive debut for West Ham.

Austria forward Marko Arnautovic and Argentina worldwide Pablo Zabaleta are the other big name signings, adding strength to a squad that already boasts of Andy Carroll, Manuel Lanzini and Jose Fonte.

It wasn't true, but it certainly broke the ice at what could have been a trick conference for an England number one, unwanted by parent club Manchester City.

'Nah, I spread for the ball. That was my ideal situation.

Hart said: "Yes, I'm looking forward to it".

The West Ham coach will have to select three centre-halves out of four however, with James Collins potentially the man to miss out - despite superb performances towards the end of 2016-17. It was the same at my old clubs.

Hart made no secret of his preference for a permanent move rather than another loan this summer, but found a tough market waiting for him when he returned from Serie A. He is, however, clearly delighted that West Ham have offered him a route back to the Premier League.

"A permanent move was going to be hard", he admitted.

He said: "I kept Gareth updated and he thinks it's the right place for me to be".

'Ideally I wanted to be signing a permanent deal somewhere so I could set my life up and have a direction. Arnautovic could have a bigger role with West Ham than he did with Stoke, especially when playing with the always-dangerous Chicharito. If going on loan is what needs to happen then for me that's fine. "I come here with high demands on my team-mates because I demand a lot of myself". I'm here to win games, I'm here to try to improve, I'm here to try to help and I'm here to learn. The England global struggled to find consistent form in Italy and often made costly errors.

"But I want to be learning and improving all the time, no matter where I am. I'm eternally grateful to them as a football club".

He didn't want to talk about it, but it was clear that the split with Manchester City is still raw.

And chances are it will be the sort of game that will give him the chance to prove Guardiola wrong and book his place on England's World Cup plane to Russian Federation next summer.

As such, Slaven Bilic will have some key decisions to make for the clash in Manchester, with the formation he fields the first question to answer. He's very important on the pitch and is great in the dressing room. "I feel I have fitted in well, though you should probably ask them that!" he said. I need to look after myself, I need to be selfish in this situation.

"If we pull together we have a good work ethic, I think that anything is possible".

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