Despite having a relatively difficult season for current English Premier League title holders Manchester City, goalkeeper Joe Hart remained optimistic in their performance for the duration of the season.
“It’s a long season,” he said. “Last season, we got the right results even when we didn’t play very well.”
In an interview with Al Arabiya, the young Englishman also spoke of the benefits of the recent club takeover by … as well as advancements in football in the Middle East.
“The confidence, the quality of the players, the expectations, and the fact that we've won things now - that makes us more of a side to be reckoned with. We got a lot more respect and I think the club is moving onwards and upwards and it's good to be a part of,” Hart said.
When asked about the footballing standards in the Middle East, specifically venue conditions, Hart said that the region is doing its best to move forward, especially in the lead up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
“We know that there are plenty of capabilities out there for some really high quality football,” he said.
He pointed out the technical aspects in addressing weather concerns.
“It’s all brand new stadiums, pitches. I think they’ve understood that it’s really hot to play in...Where we played in Qatar, it was an air conditioned stadium...so i think they’re doing everything they can for football to move forward,” Hart said.
He also hoped to have the opportunity to increase interaction with the region’s fanbase.
“It's great to have that support where you don’t quite realize it, just hope we keep entertaining because i know the premier league is watched a lot - we need to keep that high standard. I’m sure we'll be visiting very soon especially with our links with our owners - hopefully will be able to interact on a personal basis pretty soon.”
Speaking for himself, the 2011-2012 Golden Glove winner for best goalkeeper said that while it feels good especially being the number one choice for England’s goalkeeper, keeping up with his own standard is tough.
“I've got a high level to maintain which I enjoy doing you know,” he said. “As long as I can play for Man City and England for as long as possible - that's my aim at the moment.”
He reiterated that point when asked about future prospects in playing for a Middle East league.