Shay Given thinks that Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart can follow in his footsteps and play until he is 41. The ex-Manchester City man was once a teammate of the big ‘keeper when they both played at the Etihad when the Hoops hero was a lot younger. The Republic of Ireland legend rates Joe very highly and reckons that he has another six years in the tank.
Some within the Celtic support have intimated that Ange Postecoglou need a to invest in a new netminder if we are to move forward as a football team, especially in European competition. However, former Celtic goalkeeper Given has dispelled such a notion by insisting that Joe Hart is nowhere near last his best yet. He said: “I played to 41 and there’s no reason why Joe can’t do the same, as reported by Scottish Daily Express. 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. I played against Joe a lot and we were team-mates at Man City. 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.
One of the key factors that is sometimes overlooked when it comes to our Sacred Hart, is the fact that he has such a presence at the backline and also in the dressing room with his teammates and younger players. It’s a quality that is not easily replaced and Newcastle’s former number one said as much. Glad to see that his old teammate has found a place to call his own after quite a nomadic few years in the game, the Irishman added that this is imperative for the club and Joe. He said: “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.”