Advent Calendar – 1st December: Nicky Weaver and Joe Hart

With Advent now under way and the countdown to Christmas now on, Typical City is looking at an incident, player or match specific to the club that corresponds with each date. In today’s edition, Alex Timperley takes a look at the only two City goalkeepers he’s ever liked…

Goalkeepers are important in football. I’m aware that’s a less than impressive insight.

I mean, they are obviously important when it comes to stopping goals going in the net. If you let in a lot of goals you will lose matches and then everyone goes mad on twitter.

Goalkeepers are also important in football because they so often tend to define a team and particular time in a club’s history. They are out there alone a lot of the time, the ever present features in a changing lineup. Their successes and their failures can define entire seasons.

I have only ever liked two City goalkeepers. Both have become synonymous in my head with the two happiest times I have had as a City supporter.

The first is Nicky Weaver. Nine year old me thought he was the coolest man alive purely for this moment:

Nicky Weaver gillingham

Weaver was young, cocky and talented. He loved playing football and he loved playing for City. You could see it all over his face. For the longest time I thought he was invincible, unbeatable between the sticks. He personified the fearlessness and the battling spirit in his teams which lifted City from the brink of disaster, and I still love him for it.

Weaver’s career would be blighted by serious injury, and he would never reach the level which his potential demanded, but he still managed 10 years and 200 appearances for City. The best place to read more about Weaver is David Mooney’s Looks Like Scunny Next Season.

The second City goalkeeper I’ve ever liked is, of course, Super Joe.

Joe Hart gets a bad rap from many for being a bit of a laddy dweeb (which I kind of get). He appears to be underrated by the vast majority. He’s been a key player in two Premier League winning teams. He regularly performs Champion’s league heroics to keep his colleagues in the competition. He is England’s best player by a long, long way. You can count on one hand the other ‘keepers in the world who match his technical ability and big game mentality.

Joe hart

Hart isn’t perfect. He has his moments where he flaps at crosses and every now and then he throws one into his own net. Perhaps too often he boots a goal kick into the dugout. Sometimes he yells at ballboys which is funny.

But you know what, despite all that, the key thing to remember about Hart is this: He just gets it.

David Silva runs the games. Sergio Aguero scores the goals. Vincent Kompany organises the defence and technically captains the team. But Hart is the…haha… heart of the team. Hahaha

Joe Hart is the one who is genuinely grateful towards the travelling fans on away trips. Joe Hart is the one who responds to losses with devastated honesty and celebrates goals and wins with the undisguised, innocent joy of the supporter in the stands. Joe Hart is the one who cares so very much. He can be the angriest man in Manchester because he really, really wants to win every game. He really, really, really wants to win everything with City. He is the living avatar of the #together hashtag.

And in that way he reminds me a bit of Weaver. We didn’t get to see what Nicky Weaver could have been but we have been fortunate enough to see Joe Hart become a world class keeper, and we still have many more years to come.

Happy Advent

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Written by Alex Timperley

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