Hart thrives in Italy while replacement Bravo flounders

MILAN: An early lesson Joe Hart learned after moving to Torino was that the English soccer term “clean sheet” does not translate literally into Italian.
England’s goalkeeper caused much amusement among Torino fans when he chose the words “lenzuola pulite” (which means ‘two clean bed sheets’) to express his satisfaction at completing two games without conceding a goal in September.
Not the most auspicious start for an adventure abroad, perhaps, but fortunately for Hart, his gaffes have been mainly linguistic rather than footballing ones.
The 29-year-old England goalkeeper had been in the doldrums on the back of an error-strewn performance for his country at Euro 2016 when he was loaned to Torino in August. The unexpected move came only days after incoming Manchester City coached Pep Guardiola signed Claudio Bravo from Barcelona.
But while Bravo has fumbled his way through his first few months in the Premier League, Hart has quietly been putting his career back on track in one of the world’s most difficult leagues. Leaving the Premier League title contenders for a midtable Serie A outfit may have seemed like the start of a downward spiral at the time, but it is now beginning to look like an inspired springboard. Ever-present since his arrival in Italy, Hart has played 19 league games for the Bulls, and has won widespread plaudits for his displays — not an easy feat in a notoriously unforgiving Serie A.
Hart enjoys a warm relationship with the Torino supporters and his saves were directly credited — by the unofficial club website Toro — for earning his side nine points from three draws and two wins in games they would otherwise have lost.
“He gave the team security which transformed into points,” it said.
The sentiment contrasts with some of the treatment meted out to Bravo in England.
“Bravo looks like he’s never actually played football before,” one newspaper journalist wrote of the Chilean after his error-strewn debut. Former England striker Ian Wright was more cutting. “Claudio Bravo is terrible,” he tweeted. — Reuters