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Joe Hart Is Owed A Debt By Every Celtic Fan, Especially For Knowing When It’s Over.

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Joe Hart was a strange option for us when it came to signing a keeper two years ago, but I was pretty happy with the deal nonetheless. Deep down, I harboured the same fears as most of us did, in wondering whether or not he still had the stuff.

He has had big moments in a Celtic shirt. He has done big things. But always that nagging feeling has been there that maybe he had lost a little of his quality.

This happens to all players, and some of them can put it off for a long time. But there are physical attributes required to be a keeper which erode in a way that is hard to ignore or to miss. Hart has never looked like a player still in his prime. But for all that, I think we owe that man a debt. He has given us three seasons of solid service. He has been a leader in this team.

And most importantly, Joe Hart knows himself when it’s time. He knows himself that he’s not quite there any longer, which is why he’s not just leaving the club but hanging up his gloves entirely. That others at our club knew when it was time to go, we’d be in a better place.

For Joe Hart, how do you beat this anyway?

He has played massive games in a staggeringly qualified career. He has been a Premiership title winner. He has represented England. He has won multiple honours. Yes, he could go away and do it somewhere else, play at a lower level, but why would he?

He’s going out as a big player at a big club, that’s all anybody could or would want. And we should be thankful to him for delivering for us on big occasions, most notably over the last few weeks and months. Without him, I think this title race would already be finished.

Now we have to find a replacement, and that means trusting people who, to be frank, none of us trusts at all. There are significant doubts over whether or not our scouting department, such as it is, is even remotely up to that job.

Hart has done good things at this club, and is clearly an important dressing room leader, but he should not have been starting for us this season.

It’s one of a number of positions in this squad which should have been filled in the summer, if not in the January window, and I welcome Hart’s decision in part because it has now very much forced a decision on people who probably would have preferred he hang on another year, all the better that they could save a few quid.

But we’re where we are, and Joe will play out the remainder of this campaign. He’s been impressive enough in the past month or so that if he can keep on doing what he’s doing and we can sort ourselves out at the other end of the pitch, we might yet win this damned title.

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  • Frank Kennedy says:

    Good luck Joe whatever you do you said you weren’t retiring but retiring as a footballer I wish a certain chairman who apparently retired before would copy you Joe as I say good luck to you

  • Roonsa says:

    Love big Joe. He’s a great guy and a proper Celt.

    I wish him a very happy retirement.

  • Damian says:

    Gratitude, of course.

    But, he’s convinced he will no longer be able to play professional football in three months time, but we’ve to hang our hopes on him for the the rest of the season?

    • Droopy McCool says:

      You should maybe listen to what the man himself said first before making such an inaccurate statement.

      Or perhaps you’re just stirring the pot?

      • Damian says:

        No, I’m being unfair in an entirely different way. It’s been very clear that he’s no longer capable all season. He has personally cost us a number of points. That he wasn’t replaced at the start of the season is ridiculous.

        The man himself has been a great player throughout his career and has contributed well more than admirably to our club.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Deserves the credit. He’s been a good servant and (although responsible for almost givin us heart failure at times along the way), all in all he’s done quite well for us.

  • Peter says:

    Joe has been a brilliant keeper. Even miracle reflex saves from close range, diving one on one to block all this season when people are writing him off. Offer him a coaching role Celtic.

    • Patrick Cannon says:

      I agree Peter he’s done very well and also is a very good influence I think a coaching role would be good

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    One of our better ones like Bonner, Boruc, Gordon and Forster in ma time supporting Celtic…

    Hope he can use his impending retirement to galvanise that shredded squad of weaklings to send him out in a blaze of glory –

    Now given where we are and the prize that it’d bring that might well merit a statue in the space that Daddy Lawwell has earmarked for his one !

  • Zeddy says:

    JH leaving signals another decline in our standards for next season.

    Who has faith in our club to replace him !!!

  • Brattbakk says:

    I’ve been critical of Hart but only because I thought we could have got better so it’s ironic that this announcement comes when he’s been out best player in the last few games, he’s had to be. He’s also played well in the big games and now I’m worried we won’t replace him with someone as good. Hart has a great attitude and I’m happy we’ve got him for this season where we need big players to perform.

    • Alex says:

      When we convince Joe to come to Celtic Park we got a man first and a football player second and what a character he has been for us.
      Thank you Joe and all the best.

  • Michael M says:

    Thanks for everything, Joe, but I agree he should be retained in a coaching capacity as he’s an inspirational and very likeable guy who clearly loves the Celtic.

    It would be foolish not to at least offer him a role.

    Hail Hail, Big Joe.

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