Tom English thinks we’re going nowhere without a new keeper. What a laugh that is.
Does this mean he thinks we’re going somewhere if we go out and spent big money on a new shot-stopper?
No, of course not. He thinks we’re a mess of a club, he’s made his mind up about our prospects for the season ahead and thinks Ibrox can do no wrong whatsoever.
English is spewing at our performance last night.
He, like a number of other hacks, cannot believe that we didn’t fold completely and that the tie isn’t over already. He was one of a number predicting doom and gloom. They couldn’t see past a Danish win.
Focussing on the goalkeeper presents English with an easy target, on a night where almost everyone performed way above what any of the hacks expected.
He could have focussed the piece on Bitton, who he slaps down to a certain extent, but he went all in against Barkas instead, making him the focus of the piece. The keeper is under scrutiny like few players at Celtic ever have been.
The press will hammer at every single thing that he does.
If they did it straight up I’d probably not mind, but folk like English can’t.
“Somebody, somewhere must have a file that suggests that Barkas was worth such a lavish fee and is capable of being a commanding presence, but he’s played 23 times for the club now and there’s still not a shred of evidence that he’s a keeper of worth,” is how English puts it.
But what’s behind those stats? What props them up?
Well how about that in 23 games Barkas has 11 clean sheets?
Playing behind the most disorganised Celtic defence in my living memory, one that couldn’t defend set-pieces no matter who was between the sticks.
How about his record at AEK Athens, where in just over 100 games he had over 60 where he didn’t lose a goal?
He has 13 international caps for Greece.
This video, from the AEK Athens fans – a club where he was a hero – shows that there’s a good goalkeeper there.
Another video has two full minutes of his saves from a single game, the Greek Cup Final against PAOK.
I would rather trust the people who’ve actually watched him regularly, and over time, than read knee-jerk nonsense from someone waiting to see the man fail, and even more than that, salivating over the prospect of Celtic failing as well.
So watch that video, folks, and consider those stats. The goalkeeper who has allegedly never made a save seems to have more to him than we’ve so far seen. We didn’t pay all that money for someone who can’t get his hands to the ball when it matters.
We’ve not seen anything like big Barkas at his best. But we will.