It’s nice when you get confirmation of what you had long suspected, and in the case of Aaron Ramsey it was especially nice for the manner and the timing with which it came.
Big game players are supposed to do big things in big games.
They are not supposed to cost you tens of millions of pounds in addition to their already swollen fees and wages.
Back when the euphoria over that signing was still high, before the injuries and the realisation – which came to some later than others – that the deal was going to be a flop (no-one knew it would also be a disaster haha) the question was posed as to who in the recent history of Scottish football was a bigger signing. Some of us answered it.
Because the answer, to us, seemed perfectly obvious; Joe Hart.
I had a debate with some people over this one, and I could not believe the nonsense that some of them talked about how Hart was a faded legend and that Ramsey was still in his prime.
Ramsey had been warming a bench in Turin, when he wasn’t warming the treatment table instead. He was another in a long line of ex-EPL players who thought that Scottish football was a nice wee holiday; I was just glad it was at Ibrox’s expense.
Celtic doesn’t do that kind of expensive folly any longer, the ex-international on the bones of his arse, brought in to add a little “glamour” to the team. We’ve been there and seen it and done it repeatedly; Wright, Cole, Ljundberg, Graveson, Keane … EPL bling and nothing to show for it. Hart (and to a lesser extent McCarthy) were players who still have a lot to give.
McCarthy has gotten the trust of a long-term deal. We’ll see what the summer holds.
Neither cost us what Ramsey cost Ibrox, and especially not when you factor in the full consequences of that penalty miss. Juventus are going to release him on a free, and Ibrox has run the other direction.
In the meantime, Joe Hart continues his upwards trajectory.
Next season he will play in the biggest club football competition in the world, and it is there where I expect his rehabilitation to finally be completed, not that he has to worry about that in terms of the Celtic fan-base, which already loves the guy.
Hart was, and is, a bigger name than Ramsey; more caps and for a more credible nation, more honours and bigger honours at that and a whole bunch of ex-professionals who remember him at his peak and are delighted that he’s a happy player again and pushing on at Celtic. The guy fits with this club like a glove; he gets it, all of it, and loves being part of it.
The Celtic sites have been vindicated on this one.
Hart turned out to be the better signing of the two, and I still reckon he’s far and away the bigger name. The next time the media wants to gush all over an Ibrox signing, they better at least have one foot planted in the real world.