Matt O'Riley talks up fantastic Celtic teammate he "can't speak highly enough about"

By David Walton

June 13, 2022

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley has been talking up the influence and character of Joe Hart as he pinpointed his Hoops teammate as someone he regularly chats with.

Hart arrived at Parkhead last summer in a bargain £1m move from Tottenham Hotspur [Sky Sports]. Since then, he’s managed to win over the Celtic support with some fine performances as our number one. Not only that, but the former Manchester City hero has also been one of the leaders in the group throughout the season.

In terms of importance both on and off the pitch, you could say the former England number one has perhaps been our most important signing of the lot.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And O’Riley has certainly been feeling his influence around the place as he opened up on his relationship with Joe.

As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Matt said: “Joe is someone I can’t speak highly enough about. He’s the most level-headed guy I’ve met. He’s achieved the craziest things, he’s got this huge pedigree, he’s 34 but regardless of your age he’ll speak to you like you’re just a human being.

“I’ve had numerous chats with him which have not been football-related but down-to-earth, deep talks and I think it’s cool you can do that with someone like Joe. Everyone is in it together which is really important for success.”

Matt O’Riley a big fan of Celtic teammate Joe Hart

It would be easy for someone like Joe with the career he’s had to rest on his laurels. But instead, the former England international has constantly been looking for the next big challenge in his career.

He had the opportunity to continue sitting on the bench at Tottenham Hotspur and collect a mammoth pay packet. But it wasn’t something that satisfied him, as he instead took up the number one role at Parkhead. You have to respect that dedication to pushing himself.

Since moving to Glasgow, he’s evidently been one of the most approachable players in the dressing room. He isn’t using his experience in the game to distance himself from anyone. He’s using it to be an active leader at Celtic Park and ensure he can help his teammates wherever possible.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

That’s partly the reason he’s so popular within the fan base too. Celtic supporters respect those players that go out of their way to help others. Hart has regularly been doing that with his teammates.

It’ll of course be interesting to see whether Celtic bring in a goalkeeper to challenge Hart a bit more for the 2022/23 season. But for now it looks as though his spot is secure heading into pre-season at the end of the month.

Hopefully, he can have just as strong an influence this season. With Champions League football coming up, this year could be even bigger.

In other news, Celtic striker Giorgos Giakoumakis’ classy gesture after top class header