Posted on Thursday, 3rd January 2013 by admin
So Celtic head into the winter break 9 points clear after beating Motherwell 1-0 on Wednesday. It was a typical ‘Celtic at home in the SPL’ performance, as we proceeded to miss a load of sitters, and it almost cost us as Motherwell were awarded a penalty after Jamie Murphy dived. Thankfully Fraser Forster saved Tom Hateley’s penalty, and shortly after a great Samaras pass put Hooper in and he scored the winner.
The win highlighted the importance of Fraser Forster once more and I would say that he is the most important player that Celtic have, due to his performances on the pitch and the amount of money that he will make the club. It’s quite incredible how in three years he has went from the English Second Division to arguably being the best English goalkeeper in football.
Forster’s first season at Celtic did have some poor moments, in particular a poor kick-out which led to a Kenny Miller goal for Rangers at Parkhead and perhaps being at fault for both goals in the league cup final against Rangers – although it should be pointed out he did make an incredible save from a Jelavic free-kick in the same game.
His ascent really began in 2011-2012, and in particular during Celtic’ Europa League run. In the game against Udinese, he pulled off a series of great saves, which were ultimately in vain as we went out of the tournament after a 1-1 draw. He also produced a vital penalty save to preserve a 1-0 lead against Hearts when Celtic were still in the process of chasing Rangers.
This current season has by far been Forster’s best. His performances in the Champions’ League against Barcelona in particular were outstanding and were deservedly rewarded with an England call-up. He has also produced a couple of great penalty saves, against Hearts and of course this week against Motherwell. In my opinion Forster has already proven to be Celtic’s best goalkeeper for many years, even better than Artur Boruc, who although at times was a fantastic goalkeeper, made too many mistakes in his last two seasons for Celtic.
At only 24 years old, Forster has a long career ahead of him, and ultimately most of that career will be spent away from Celtic. The club did the right thing in signing Forster up to a permanent deal before the start of the season, and at around £2 million it has proved to be a great deal of business, for when he inevitably leaves we should receive around five or six times that amount. That’s for the future however, and for now fans should appreciate the best goalkeeper Celtic have had for many years.