Don’t Scapegoat One Player For An Error That Many Have Been Guilty Of

Joe Hart made a howler tonight, which cost Celtic a goal and allowed RB Leipzig to regain the lead. Of course it was a dreadful error, which caused me to let out more than a few frustrated expletives. However, Callum McGregor played a major role in us conceding the first goal, just as he did in Shaktar, and the likes of Kyogo, Maeda and Giakoumakis have cost us goals at the other end with missed chances. Therefore, it seems harsh to scapegoat one player for a bad mistake, when several others have also made game changing errors.

Joe Hart fails to stop Christopher Nkunku (R) from scoring the 1-0 goal during the UEFA Champions League Group match RB Leipzig v Celtic FC in Leipzig, on October 5, 2022. (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

Hart has been a good signing, has shown great leadership and has played well for us overall. He has been at fault for very few goals in his Celtic career. Anybody can make a one off mistake. Name a goalkeeper that has never made a blunder in their career, especially when playing out from the back in every single match.

Similarly, McGregor has been a great captain and player for us, meaning he often is (rightly) not chastised for his mistakes, just as Kyogo and Giakouamkis’ missed opportunities rarely bring too much criticism because of the contributions that they have made over the last year. Meanwhile, Maeda is never scapegoated because of his industrious style and admirable work rate.

Timo Werner runs in to the box as the ball ends up in the back of the net scored by Christopher Nkunku (not in picture) during the UEFA Champions League Group F match RB Leipzig v Celtic FC in Leipzig,  on October 5, 2022. (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

So it seems unfair and hyperbolic to pick on Joe Hart tonight. It was a howler and that is fine to point out, but let’s not scapegoat him. He will dust himself off and continue to do what he has done best for us, and if Madrid win this evening, then the group remains alive for us.

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About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up in Bournemouth with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. Still living on the south coast, I have a season ticket at Paradise and also travel to European away matches when possible. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were/are sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are available on Amazon.

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