Celtic favourites and Declan Rice respond to Hart insta post after AZ result

By Euan Davidson

August 27, 2021

Celtic favourites Stephen Welsh and David Turnbull, as well as £72m-rated West Ham star Declan Rice, have all congratulated Joe Hart.

Hart showed real bravery in recovering from a first-half mistake. A bad back-pass from Stephen Welsh caused Hart to come rushing out of his area. He couldn’t get the ball under control, allowing AZ to score.

However, after that, Hart was imperious. On the night, he made 3 excellent saves to prevent AZ Alkmaar from bringing the tie level on aggregate [FotMob].

After the game, Hart posted on Instagram, saying:

“What a night. Such a tough game. Yes mistakes happen… but it’s about standing up when it matters. We did that and stuck to what we believe in… delighted to take part in this years @europaleague dust ourselves down , and let’s go again #coybig @celticfc

The response, as you’d respect, reflected the esteem his teammates past and present hold him in. Declan Rice, valued at £72m by the CIES Football Observatory, was one of the first to give Hart acclaim:

AZ Alkmaar 2-1 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

AZ Alkmaar 2-1 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

Then, Celtic players piled in to pay tribute to Hart. Amongst them were Irishman Luca Connell, resurgent midfielder Ryan Christie and Scotland international David Turnbull:

In Joe Hart, we have a Celtic goalkeeper who communicates well on and off the pitch, as Declan Rice can attest

It’s little wonder Joe Hart has made friends wherever he’s been. Fine, he wasn’t his imperious best at West Ham United, but he clearly did enough to garner the support of his teammates, including Declan Rice.

The same Declan Rice who, presumably, Callum McGregor has recently discarded from his back pocket after Scotland v England at Euro 2020.

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

On the pitch, he’s a leader, someone who’s had a tangible impact on the rest of the defence. While we saw last night that – yes – there is the odd mistake in him, he’s undoubtedly a significant upgrade.

Mistakes are forgivable. Owning up to them, promising improvement and praising your teammates? That’ll ingratiate you well with the Celtic support. It’s not errors that we can’t tolerate, it’s a lack of accountability when things go wrong.

Ange is building a team that is showing the utmost togetherness. That’s after a season when the club looked fractured, with talk of bad morale and a divided dressing room.

That takes some doing. And bringing in experienced players like Hart has expedited that process to no end.

Read more: “Wipe the floor with Rangers”