Shay Given lauds 'extremely dedicated' Celtic star Joe Hart

By Milo Clay

March 30, 2023

Former Celtic goalkeeper Shay Given has heaped praise on the Bhoys’ current shot stopper Joe Hart for his brilliant attitude off the pitch. 

Hart is enjoying a successful spell at Parkhead after some difficult moments in his career in England beforehand. 

The 35-year-old had struggled during spells at West Ham, Burnley and Tottenham before joining Celtic. He was widely regarded as one of the best shot stoppers in England during his time at Manchester City and he has really found his feet once again in Glasgow. 

Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

And Given says he’s noticed that Hart seems to be enjoying his football once again under Ange Postecoglou. 

Given praises Hart 

Speaking to The Daily Record, Given heaped praise on Hart for his fantastic attitude off the pitch and claimed that the goalkeeper is a long way off retirement. 

“I played against Joe a lot and we were team-mates at Man City,” he said. “He was the No.1 but Pep Guardiola eventually didn’t fancy him. 

“It was the same for me when Roberto Mancini didn’t fancy me. It happens in football. 

“Joe had to go away and rebuild a little bit. He went to West Ham, had a few moves and things didn’t quite work out.

“But it’s nice to see him really settled in Glasgow, he looks right at home now. Joe obviously has tonnes of ability but he brings that experience and knowledge to the team as well. I’ve got no doubt he’s a massive presence in the dressing room.”

He added: “I played to 41 and there’s no reason why Joe can’t do the same. He’s only a youngster at 35.

“Knowing Joe, he’s so professional and extremely dedicated. He works really hard in the gym and looks after himself.

“It’s clear he’s really enjoying himself at Celtic. He’ll feel the same way we all did and want to play as long as he can because you are a long time retired. 

“It’s things like the game on Saturday, when you see all those Celtic fans behind the goal, that remind you what you are missing.

“But when you look at his performances, there’s no need for him to even think about retiring any time soon.”

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Despite some ups and downs during the current campaign, Hart has been a key factor in Postecoglou’s success at Celtic Park so far. 

The Englishman has provided a safe pair of hands between the sticks and it’s clear that he’s a big influence behind the scenes at Parkhead, as Given alluded to. 

Of course, his contract at Celtic is set to run until 2024 and it will be intriguing to see how long he remains as Postecoglou’s number one. 

But for the time being, Hart will be fully focused on helping the Bhoys to a domestic treble and there’s no doubt that he’s proven to be an astute piece of business so far.