St Mirren star discusses superb gesture from Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart
St Mirren goalkeeper Jak Alnwick has revealed the amazing gesture from Celtic stopper Joe Hart at half-time on Saturday.
Celtic went into the break against the Buddies 4-0 in front. This came after Alnwick in particular had a shocker for two of the goals. Liel Abada’s opener and David Turnbull’s second both should’ve been dealt with by the former Rangers man.
He was clearly having a nightmare afternoon. However, the Buddies man did manage to come out in the second half and made some decent stops. There was one in particular from Tom Rogic in the closing stages that was particularly eye-catching.
But his second-half display, even though he let in another two, came after being inspired by the Celtic goalkeeper.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Alnwick explained what happened after the first half: “I’ve got to pay a lot of respect to Joe Hart. At half-time he walked over to me and said, ‘Regroup and make saves’. I thought that was class from him. This is someone who has played at the highest level but someone who has been in the position I was in himself.
“There’s me, as an ex-Rangers player as well — and maybe Celtic fans won’t be happy to hear it — but he knows what it’s like to be in that situation. He’s had some massive ups and massive downs throughout his own career. He’s made mistakes in World Cups, Euros, you name it.
“For him to speak to me, I didn’t expect it, but at the same time I wasn’t surprised knowing the type of man he is. I respect Joe Hart so much because of what he did at that moment. He didn’t have to do it. I know he would have wanted his team to go on and win 10-0 — I have no doubt about that because goal difference could matter to them come the end of the season. But I have a lot of respect for him.”
Celtic ripped St Mirren apart as Joe Hart shows his class
Alnwick appears totally taken aback by the gesture from the Celtic goalkeeper. You can understand it too. You wouldn’t expect any motivational message from an opposition player heading in at the break.
Of course, Hart has had his fair share of critics in the past. Unfair and over-the-top ones at that. He’ll have known exactly the kind of afternoon Alnwick was having and would’ve been able to empathise with him. Despite the cricket score that looked like being racked up, there will have been a part of the Celtic stopper that may have found it difficult to watch.
But the goals St Mirren conceded in the second 45 had nothing to do with Alnwick. He was left exposed for both Odsonne Edouard and Turnbull’s efforts. And it appears he took Hart’s message on board.
It’s just another sign of the leader the Celtic goalkeeper is. He clearly sees himself as an experienced head. Not just for his own teammates to benefit from either, but other struggling goalkeepers who are underperforming.
The cynics will question why helping an opponent is worth doing. But let’s not kid ourselves. Celtic were battering St Mirren and were going to win the game comfortably in any case. All he’s doing is helping out an inexperienced goalkeeper who’s just had a shocking afternoon at Parkhead.
It’s a sign of the man he is. A top goalkeeper and a top pro.