Do some of our supporters never learn, or what?
Last season, when Bolingoli started a little shakily, the media started jumping up and down on the player and the rush-to-judgement brigade, like Sutton, leaped in to tell us what a diddy he was.
We’re talking about a guy playing in a new country, in a new team, in a new system and who barely had his feet on the ground.
Ridiculous comparisons to Kieran Tierney, the player we lost, were rife and all over the place.
Before long the same nonsense was popping up all over social media, with our new signing, who cost us £3 million, being roundly slammed.
I said at the time, the media wants this guy’s confidence shot. He needs time to settle.
If we turn on him the way they want he’s done, you might as well write the money off because we’re never going to see whether this guy is a player.
The weight of that criticism pushed the manager to drop him. I really do believe that; Lennon, seeing his own judgement was being questioned by the hacks who were relentless, took the retrograde step of pushing Bolingoli out of the team … and the rest is history.
We blew the money on him. We’ll never know whether he was a player. We’ll never get the money back.
I’ve said repeatedly that the same time of mind-set would have had Larsson branded a dud in his second game.
God knows what reaction some of our fans would have had to the signing of Moravcik back in the day; I know we wouldn’t have watched a legend because people at our club might have considered the backlash before making the signing.
This morning there’s actual debate going on as to whether we should drop Barkas for Scott Bain. You want to end this guy’s Celtic career, right now, before it starts? This guy who’s a full international for Greece? This guy who cost us even more than Bolingoli did?
Drop him from this team, right now, and you might as well let him go in January for a nominal fee.
Because if our manager bows to that pressure and leaves this guy out then he’s done. The media is going to crucify him and brand him a waste of money and it will be nearly impossible for him to return to the starting eleven.
On top of that, who, realistically, wants to entrust ten in a row to Scott Bain?
There’s a reason we brought in Forster last season, and Barkas this summer.
The way I see it, Barkas has exactly one major problem other than he needs time.
His name isn’t Fraser Forster.
I’ve read a lot of comments from people who think that we should just have “spent the money Southampton wanted” and brought Forster back … I’ve got news for those people; we tried to. The guy they are hailing as a hero rejected the move.
Fraser Forster personally turned down a return to Celtic Park. This is a matter of record. It’s also a matter of record that Neil Lennon felt personally betrayed by that because he had assurances that Forster wanted the move.
I thought Barkas should have saved the first goal at the weekend. He certainly needs to sharpen his concentration, and to me that’s been the problem. Being a Celtic goalkeeper is a difficult job because teams in Scotland so seldom get in a position to threaten us … a Celtic keeper has to be focussed and switched on at all times and until that fact permeates their consciousness all of them are capable of making silly mistakes. Believe it or not, Forster did.
To make the goalkeeper the scapegoat for what was a collective shambles is ridiculous.
It’s also dangerous if we ever want to get something from the guy.
The media is already eyeing him through the crosshairs – I pointed this out weeks ago.
If our fans turn on him now we’ll ruin this guy and any chance we have of seeing him at his best.
That would be a momentous and costly mistake to say the least.