"In great shape"; Gary Lineker and Micah Richards talk up Celtic hero Joe Hart

By David Walton

December 2, 2021

Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart has been bigged up by Micah Ricahrds and Gary Lineker on the Match of the Day Top 10 podcast.

Hart arrived at Parkhead in the summer and immediately claimed the number one jersey. The former England international has proved to be a commanding presence and is a major step-up on the likes of Vasilis Barkas and Scott Bain respectively.

However, it’s fair to say his reputation preceded him in the first place. Even before he arrived at Parkhead, he was known for being a title-winner with Manchester City as well as bagging 75 caps for the England national team.

Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Despite that, however, he was always called out by the English media and was regularly made a scapegoat. That’s something Richards was keen to acknowledge on the MOTD podcast as both he and Lineker bigged him up:

Richards: “Joseph Hart, he was brilliant. Joseph Hart. He was an unsung hero, to City fans he’s a hero, but that whole England thing is nonsense, he has 60 or 70 caps.”

Lineker: “Sometimes you’re remembered for your most recent stuff and in the end it went sour for him, but you’re right, before that he was terrific”

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Richards: “He was pivotal in Man City’s success as well. Some of his games in the Champions League were outrageous and I don’t like the way the media tried to tarnish him as arrogant. He works hard and he’s still in great shape now.”

Micah Richards and Gary Lineker join in the Joe Hart praise

Granted, both men may have been looking more about his past exploits than discussing what he’s doing at Celtic, but he’s an incredibly big figure in British football.

Hopefully it hasn’t gone unnoticed down south just how impressive he’s been in Scotland too. After all, he’s already one of the main dressing room leaders at Parkhead, and he’s a figure many undoubtedly lookd up to.

Not to mention the fact he’s still a tremendous shot-stopper. What he produced in Bayer Leverkusen last Thursday night was outrageous stuff. Compare it back to the likes of Barkas away to AC Milan. It’s night and day and shows just how big an upgrade we made in the goalkeeping ranks.

Photo by Sharon Latham/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Of course, time will tell how long Hart can operate at this level for. At 34 years of age, you get the feeling there’s plenty of energy left in that tank. After all, the former Man City stopper still looks like he’s in his prime, and the physical condition of the man is incredible.

It’s vital we keep him for as long as he’s willing to do a job for us. It can’t be underlooked just how big an influence he’s been to the turnaround at Celtic Park this season.

Hopefully, he only goes from strength to strength in the coming weeks and months ahead.

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