JOE HART has been talking about his career this week with English based podcast ‘In the Stiffs’.
The goalkeeper has been brilliant for Celtic this season – he has become a leader and a real fan favourite. Many supporters had their reservations about Joe coming in. Some perceived him as a jack-the-lad sort of character who would be coming up for one last pay day.
It couldn’t have been further fron the truth.
Joe has helped steady the ship and has taken to the club brilliantly well.
Joe told the podcast why he ended up at Celtic and the painful way his Spurs career came to an end: ‘There was a big change going on at Tottenham.
‘They needed a lot of people out and a lot of people in. [Nuno] proceeded to call me in.
‘I knew they were signing another goalkeeper and I was like: “Do we need to have a conversation?” He said that we’d speak after training.
‘He was like: “I’ll speak first. Let’s be absolutely clear, no matter what happens, you’ll not kick a ball this year.”
‘I had got on really well at the club, people had bought into what I was trying to bring and I was like: “Right, okay.”
‘He said you’ll be free to work with the sporting director to get yourself out. However you want to play it, play it.
‘I said just out of interest, remove yourself from the situation, you used to be a goalkeeper, why has it come to this?
‘Why have I gone from being whoever I was to being completely surplus to requirements in a squad, to not even being able to back up the first-choice? Speak freely.
‘He just went: “In my opinion, we all reach a point in our career where the body won’t allow you to play football. We’re at it now.
‘”I would not feel comfortable with you playing one minute for me.
‘”The ball’s too quick for you, you’re too old, you’re not moving, you’ve got no strength in your body.”
‘He literally buried me and I’m laughing because, whether I’m deluded or not, I was like, I don’t agree with any of that.
‘I asked for your opinion, you have given it, it’s not what I wanted to hear and I am going to have to take myself out of this situation.
‘I literally went home and I am completely baffled here, I think I’m done, I can’t be a***d anymore.
‘I can’t sit in a room anymore and have that said to me by him.’
‘I was like: “I don’t need this anymore. I’m strong, I’m healthy, I love football.”
‘I went home and said I’d prefer to play 30 charity games a year for anyone who would want me to play in goal and give something back.
‘I can’t be a***d with chasing the ace. I like playing football, but I don’t really like this anymore.
‘Everyone who had my back couldn’t really argue. They were like: I get what you are saying.
‘I went back in the next day and said, the first bit, you are the manager, you make your decision. The rest of it was out of order.
‘It’s done. I’m not going to be a problem. I intend to train hard every day and find some sort of solution.
‘It was just dealing with another problem for him. He’s a manager and needed to clear wood. I was part of that wood.
‘He made his decision and backed it. Good for him. He was the boss and I’m out.
‘I got put in contact with Ange here. And I knew that Celtic had called anyway.
‘They said we’d be okay with you talking to them, I was like, cheers.
‘I’ve loved it, I’ve loved every minute of it. I’m really happy here.’
Managers need to be cut throat, it’s there neck on the line at all times and they need to stand by their decisions. Joe asked for Nuno’s opinion at the time and he got it, and then some.
We can see both sides of the argument but ultimately we’re delighted Nuno was so brutal with Joe in the end because by the time he got on the phone to Ange and Celtic, the goalkeeper was ready to rock.
The comments have clearly lit a fire under Joe who has shown passion and dig this season to help Celtic out when they’ve needed him.
Age catches up with us all, Joe has done so much in the game, but when it’s all said and done, I’m 100% sure Joe will look at his Celtic time as one of the best periods of his career. He loves football, he’s passionate and so are the Celtic support.
The mood in the dressing room is good and the players are all fighting for each other.
Nuno was sacked by Spurs earlier this season after a dismal run of form. Joe Hart has bagged a League Cup medal and is chasing down more trophies. Not bad for a turnaround.
Celtic fans will be delighted Nuno pushed Joe out.