Barry Ferguson has recently shed light on Joe Hart’s initial reaction to joining Celtic, conveying the goalkeeper’s surprise at the club’s stature. Hart, who transferred from Tottenham Hotspur, has had a distinguished career, with notable success at Manchester City where he claimed two Premier League titles.

Despite being accustomed to the pressures of top-tier English football, the move to Celtic revealed a new level of grandeur.

The ex-Manchester City star’s move to Celtic appeared to be a gamble by some, given his dwindling form prior to the transfer. However, the switch to Scotland has revitalized his career, seeing him secure a treble with the team under the guidance of Ange Postecoglou last season.

4th November 2023; Victoria Park, Dingwall, Scotland: Scottish Premiership Football, Ross County versus Celtic; Joe Hart of Celtic shares a joke with Anthony Ralston of Celtic

In a conversation with Go Radio, Ferguson, who played alongside Hart at Birmingham, reflected on the skepticism surrounding Hart’s move. He praised Hart’s resilience and leadership, noting, “Massive character. Infectious around the dressing room. A leader.” Ferguson highlighted Hart’s ability to recover from mistakes without letting them rattle him, a trait not common among many.

The impact of Celtic’s environment on Hart was profound. Ferguson recounted Hart’s awe upon truly understanding the scale of the club, a realisation often underestimated by those in English football. The goalkeeper himself has become an advocate for the unique intensity and passion surrounding the Scottish games, particularly the Glasgow derbies. Ferguson said; “I spoke to him when I was at Alloa and he was loving it. You know what it’s like when you go down to England. They are always asking ‘what are the Celtic and Rangers games like’. They are huge. ‘Right, good one’. This and that. Until they actually come up, that’s what Joe said.

“He couldn’t believe the size of Celtic. People don’t understand when they are down in England. I think he is a top goalkeeper, I do.”

4th November 2023; Victoria Park, Dingwall, Scotland: Scottish Premiership Football, Ross County versus Celtic; Joe Hart of Celtic warms up

Looking ahead, Hart’s tenure with Celtic is under scrutiny. His contract is nearing its end, and there is much speculation about his successor. The need for strategic planning is apparent, with suggestions that Celtic should use the January window to introduce a new goalkeeper, allowing for a smoother transition once Hart departs.

Joe wants to keep going as a player for as long as he can. If he were to become number 2 at Celtic or that was going to be the reality, he would more than likely look for a new challenge.

Celtic needed a sturdy goalkeeper after the debacle of the Barkas transfer and Joe was the right man at the right time.


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