Craig Gordon praises Joe Hart ahead of Celtic final

By Giuseppe Labellarte

February 24, 2023

Former Celtic star Craig Gordon has waxed lyrical about Hoops goalkeeper Joe Hart ahead of the Scottish League Cup final on Sunday.

The 40-year-old believes Hart has shown great resilience in reigniting his career following a difficult few years. Hart joined Celtic from English side Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2021 for a reported £1m. [Fee: Daily Mail]

The 35-year-old helped the Bhoys to a Premiership and Scottish Cup double in his maiden season at Parkhead.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

This season, Hart has kept 15 clean sheets in all competitions and has conceded under a goal a game on average. The 6ft 5in shot-stopper is finally enjoying his football again after several years away from regular first-team action.

Hart enjoyed great success at Manchester City as their glory days kicked off in the early 2010s. He lifted two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and two League Cups at the club. Hart was also England’s number one for a number of years.

However, he fell out of favour under Pep Guardiola and spent time on loan at Torino and West Ham. Hart then had permanent spells at Burnley and Tottenham, but made just 34 combined appearances in three years.

Now, Hart is Ange Postecoglou’s first-choice goalie at Celtic, who are still in contention for the treble this season.

On Sunday, the Bhoys contest the Scottish League Cup final at Hampden Park. And Hart is one match away from claiming his third trophy in green and white.

Gordon admires what Hart has done in recent years.

“It’s resilience to get back out there,” he told the Daily Record. “The criticism you had in the past will never go away, it’s always something people will go back to right throughout his career.

“People mention it about Joe Hart and when he left Man City. That’s what everyone wants to talk about.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“They don’t want to talk about how he has managed to come back via different clubs and all the avenues he had to go down.

“He was a second-choice for a while but he’s come back and is now a No.1 playing in a cup final with a great chance of winning the league as well.

“You need to give great credit to both him and Allan [McGregor] for the careers they’ve had and the number of times they came back and shown what they are worth.”

Ange has put full trust in Joe Hart

Gordon is spot on. Hart copped so much flak after leaving City and having rotten luck when it came to finding his next club. Luckily, Celtic were on hand to reignite his career, and now he’s finally enjoying his football again.

He’s been a massively trusted presence under Ange Postecoglou. He commands the box, is a good shot-stopper, has solid distribution and has been noted as one of the leaders in the dressing room on multiple occasions.

This weekend, he gets the chance to again show he’s made the correct career choice coming to the Bhoys.

In other news, Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou’s Sunday team talk could be one for the ages.