Joe Hart has solved a positional and leadership problem at Celtic

By David Walton

August 19, 2021

The signing of Joe Hart was supposed to solve a key positional issue for Celtic, but at the same time, he’s also solved a leadership one.

Celtic went into the summer window with a worrying lack of experience or leaders in the team. With Scott Brown and Kris Ajer departing, a lot of captaincy traits went with them.

Even though Callum McGregor was rightfully named captain, there remained a worrying lack of alternatives who could come into the team and make their experience known.

Step up Joe Hart. The £1m signing from Tottenham Hotspur did exactly that [Sky Sports].

Against Alkmaar, he was the picture of confidence. At every set piece you could see him pointing and directing his teammates to where he wanted them to be. Getting them positionally organised in a way that was comfortable for both himself and the backline.

There was one moment late on when Hart could be seen running to Ange Postecoglou to get some vital instructions before passing them on to Callum McGregor. But he was in constant dialogue with his teammates all night. He wasn’t just sitting on his backside waiting for danger to come to him.

Celtic 2-0 AZ Alkmaar | LIVE Reaction

Celtic 2-0 AZ Alkmaar | LIVE Reaction

Joe Hart is loving his newfound importance at Celtic

You can see how enthusiastic he is to pass on his experience. It’s clear to see that the English international is loving being an important part of a big football club once more.

And better yet, it’s not just his experience and vocal abilities that he’s bringing to the side. He’s making some big saves for the football club too.

His stop to deny Vangelis Pavlidis in the opening stages was superb. The kind no other goalkeeper at Celtic would’ve been able to make. Not to mention the fact that his ball-handling has been brilliantly efficient since joining. He allowed nothing to slip last night, and his confident demeanour throughout the evening just kept everyone watching on composed.

He brings absolutely everything you would want to the goalkeeping position at Celtic. Whilst it’s still early days, the signs are overwhelmingly promising. He’s filled a gap we feared we wouldn’t be able to this summer.

And there have been plenty of supporters who have been left in awe of his leadership ability too. Here’s a look at some of the reaction to Hart’s performance last night:

In other news, How AZ Alkmaar camp have reacted to magical night at Celtic Park