Hart here to provide organisation


Those who want Celtic to stop with all the ‘ones for the future’ and concentrate more on players who are ready now, will be delighted at the prospect of Joe Hart (yes, I know, they will never be delighted).  At 34, Joe has the prospect of three years in Glasgow, helping to put Celtic back into domestic contention and into Champions League group stages.

He is 11 months older than Fraser Forster, whose decision to decline Celtic’s contract offer, after agreement was made with Southampton last year, precipitated so much trouble.  Neither keeper is at their peak, but Fraser was an incalculable loss, Joe Hart could go a long way to filling the gloves.

After securing star status with Manchester City and being first choice for England for seven years, Joe found himself loaned to Tornio and West Ham, before signing for then-Premier League Burnley, who required stopgap cover.  Last season was spent at Tottenham, largely on the bench, although he played 10 cup games.

A high profile fumble against Iceland at Euro 2016 was the Saka penalty of the day, ending England’s participation in the tournament, the incident lives longer in the memory than it would have in a different game.  He could have done better with the first of Leigh Griffiths free kicks that sailed past him at Hampden in 2017.  These and other circumstances combined to ensure he did not make the cut for the World Cup squad a year later.

I cannot tell you where Hart will perform on the spectrum between Fraser Forster at Hampden in 2019 and Vasilis Barkas throughout last season, it feels over optimistic to expect error-free miracles.  Nor is Joe a sweeper-keeper – an element of his game that hampered his ability to move to another top English club after Man City.

His abiding attribute is organisation.  Who does what, where and when, has been Celtic’s Achilles Heel in defence for a year, we can be sure this particular element will improve.  This, is the reason Joe is currently undergoing a medical.

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  1. Barkas now has to be moved on, minimising what will be a substantial loss.



    Ajeti may be falling into this category as well. In our last two games, desperate for a goal, Ange has been loathe to look to Ajeti.



    Rogic, Griff, Ajeti, Barkas and Bitton offer us little imo.



    There’s still plenty of work to do with this squad, in both directions.

  2. so, reading that, Celtic and Southampton did agree a deal, but FF wouldnt agree terms.


    Bloody agents.

  3. Japan v Spain on Eurosport red button, Japan CB from Man City, we’ve been linked with starts…

  4. P67



    Your article would suggest that PL cannot walk and chew gum at the same time.


    It also points to the fickle nature of elements of the support where sell on value is key because too many — yourself included — have banged on about it for far too long.



    The balance sheet is not primary / it should never have been primary — the football on the park is primary.



    We desperately need winners.


    We desperately need leaders.


    We desperately need experience.


    We desperately need on-field nous / intelligence.


    We desperately need on-field physicality — appropriate physicality not kick yer granny / poke someone in the eye right in front of the ref physicality.



    JH has all the above qualities in spades.


    From memory he is an above average shotstopper but has an excellent command of his box.



    CG had some of this in the past before he started to go full ninja on the opposition.


    Letting him go was never the issue — that was putting the responsibility onto the very limited SB.



    Hopefully VB will be given the time and support to rebuild his game.


    He has talent just a case he forgot to pack most of it when he came to Glasgow.



    Finally sort out the youths / reserves — who do we have at 25 / 21 / 18 and help them develop.


    Holding on to 7 of them and hoping for the best is not the way to go.


    If we are short in an age group then buy the best in the SPL.

  5. Today’s leader reminded me of Paul67’s powers of magical prose and prediction, when another big EPL organiser of last season, camped up with similar powers and brief.



    “At 6’ 4” and built like the Free Derry Wall in the town he knows so well, Shane Duffy brings experience and assurance to the middle of the Celtic defence…..We have recruited a player who will be influential in the chase for 10.”



    mmmmmm…..I’ll stay clear of your lottery number choices Paul :)



    Another Hail Mary signing in the absence of a coherent, joined up recruitment strategy. Here’s hoping it works. On the upside, he’s a big character, who will bring a degree of professionalism but that ability to shout and point is no substitute if he can’t do the basics in goal. Too much available evidence to suggest that in the last few years, he can’t, more times than he can.



    Anyhow, pragmatically hope is all we seem to have at the moment. Oh and lots and lots of much needed kool aid for those of a delicate disposition who just hate contrary evidence. Buckle in….




  6. Tom McLaughlin on




    It wasn’t even about Celtic and Forster failing to agree terms.



    In the case of loan deals, agreement of terms is strictly between the 2 clubs. Forster would receive his full Southampton wage. It is for the clubs to agree what percentage is met by the borrowing club.



    Celtic and Southampton reached agreement. The player decided he wanted to remain at St Mary’s to fight for his place.

  7. Weebobbycollins on

    Bada Bing @ 12.20


    Sampdoria’s Yoshida, his centre-back partner, would have been a good choice to play alongside Starfelt and in front of Joe Hart. He has the presence and experience.

  8. The Japanese No 10,Doan looks a player, doesn’t look like he gets a game with PSV…

  9. Pretty pleased….simply because he’s better than what we’ve got …a year too late BTW….lennon was desperate for hart and got barkas… simply for the sell on value…..


    Now we’ll just have to see ……amazed we haven’t got a right back yet…….I’m praying we are in for Japanese lad as another centre half/ defensive mid…..who has the correct attributes…..currently playing at the Olympics


    But it all seems disorganised and hotch potch…….

  10. NORRIEM,



    From last blog,


    The thing about Doig is,he already has experience.Nothing against our younger players coming through,but at this juncture?.How much time do we have to blood them.Hjelde is not a LB.On a personal level,I have watched Doig a good few times,mainly in Hibs bigger games.I think he looks the business,I don’t have any opinion of the two boys you mention,because I have hardly seen anything of them.

  11. One of my good friends is a Tottenham season ticket holder of long standing. Honestly. We were recently discussing Celtic’s defensive woes and I told him we required a complete rebuild starting with a competent goalkeeper. He replied ” I would suggest Joe Hart but you did say competent.” True story

  12. On the basis that he cannot be any worse than Barky or Bainy (copyright Ange P) I would certainly welcome the former England no.1. He will get respect for his pedigree alone.



    A shouty, crabbit even, goalie is what we need right now. Someone to let the guys in front of him know exactly what is required of them. Not too bothered about his ball-at-the-feet attributes, just keep the thing out the flippin net.



    Bada Bing @ 12.20





    Sampdoria’s Yoshida, his centre-back partner, would have been a good choice to play alongside Starfelt and in front of Joe Hart. He has the presence and experience



    If that’s the ex Southampton boy,always thought he was excellent.Where is he now?

  14. One save I saw Hart make last year for Spurs,was in the miraculous class.Even could have been a double save.


    Pundits raving about it.Lets hope .

  15. Bada,



    Cheers for that.He came on as a sub,last game.Looked good.Forgot about today.

  16. Tom McLaughlin on




    Thanks for the heads up. After a bit of a search, found it on Eurosport5.

  17. Now go get Doig and Nisbett.



    Another centre back maybe as Bada says Doan on Loan…… :)



    D :)

  18. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Lot of keepers mentioned there, Paul, but not Craig Gordon? How much has it cost to replace him and we still don’t have a keeper who is better.


    Hart has been erratic for a number of years – I’d say his best season was probably the one on loan at Birmingham and that’s going back over ten years!


    Probably still an improvement on what we have, although if he is the best we can get then someone needs replacing.

  19. BIG WAVY on 3RD AUGUST 2021 12:36 PM



    Another Hail Mary signing in the absence of a coherent, joined up recruitment strategy.




    Interesting post – just to extract the above section. We do badly need a “joined up recruitment strategy”, however starting here and now with a new manager and, bearing in mind, as we know only too well, that not every signing is a success, surely we are looking at 2/3 seasons to get it right, and have it “joined-up”.



    That’s how long it took at Ibrox, with a similar paucity of squad, when Gerrard was appointed. You would think our much-vaunted “better financial position” will make it easier & quicker, but I very much doubt it. We will spend only what we can afford, as we have always done since the start of the Lawwell era – at Ibrox there is, apparently, no such restriction.



    Three years of relative ‘famine’ after an unprecedented nine record-breaking years of ‘plenty’, would probably be tolerated at most clubs, so why not Celtic? I hate to say it but the Ibrox followers seemed to handle nine years of starvation, ridicule, liquidation and being run by a shower of spivs, reasonably well. I hope that we can handle this hiatus by sticking together and supporting the team – support for the regime will, I suppose, be a different matter.