Joe Hart expertly handles latest media probing on Siegrist Celtic competition
Ben Siegrist is only just in the door at Celtic and naturally it has provoked intrigue with regards to the goalkeeping position at the club over the coming season.
Joe Hart is firmly installed as the number one pick at the moment but given Siegrist’s regular exploits at Dundee United, some think the Englishman can eventually be usurped by the Swiss 30-year-old.
Hart was in front of the Sky Sports cameras this weekend in Austria and was asked about the fresh competition.
However, he is clearly not going to buy into any narrative of rivalry between the two.
For the veteran, it’s all about his own individual effort, even if he recognises the qualities Siegrist brings to the group.
Asked whether he was impressed by his new teammate last season, Hart said: “I was really impressed with the standard of goalkeeping in the league. We really got to see the best side of a lot of the goalkeepers because we tended to dominate.
“We played some good football last year and gave people a lot to do when they were in goal. Ben was no different, stood out, he’s a good goalkeeper and he’s going to bring something to this team and help us push forward.”
Then, when asked directly about whether he is happy with someone to come in and push him personally, Hart continued: “Respectfully, that’s his prerogative, that’s how he’s going to do things. That’s why he’s got to where he is – he’s had a successful career.
“I’m in the mindset that I can only do what I can do. I can only affect what I can affect. I will do my best to do that and try to be in the team and keep pushing.”
Hart is used to being under the spotlight. Let’s not forget there was serious scrutiny on him at the start of last season. Many were unsure how he’d perform after being back-up at other clubs for a number of years.
He’s also had to deal with question marks regarding his ability to fit into Ange’s system of quick distribution and passing puzzles through the opposition press.
Along the way, he’s become a key part of the Celtic squad and doesn’t look like shifting any time soon, despite Siegrist’s arrival.
Hopefully, we don’t have any of these discussions heading deeper into the season because it will mean Hart is again proving himself to be consistent.