There was an interesting report from Greece this week about what Celtic is supposed to want for Vasilis Barkas.
There is something like shock in our press corps as they report on it.
We’ve evidently set his transfer value at over £4 million.
I am frankly surprised that any of them are confused by that.
It’s what you pay for an international keeper his age, even if he’s no longer an international. Since going on loan he has played more than 20 games in the Dutch league this season, and he is rated highly.
Just not in Scotland. Just not in this country, with its pig ignorant media prone to their snap judgements.
They decided that this guy was a write-off ages ago, with some of them claiming that he has no talent at all, as though Celtic would have spent £6 million on someone of whom that was true.
He might not have done it here, but we didn’t buy a complete dud.
When we signed Barkas he was an international. He was a Champions League footballer who had played against us not long before and made show-stopping saves which played a role in us being knocked out of the competition.
He arrived at Celtic in the most surreal circumstances imaginable, barely met his team-mates and had no time to build relationships before being written off. Leading the charge were some of the dumbest people in our media, people like Keevins, the man who thought we should have bought John Spencer instead of “one of Dr Joe’s old pals.”
He keeps up his campaign of vilification to this day, and he has tried to whip up the mob against other Celtic players too, including Carl Starfelt, who continues to defy his shameful statements with great performances like the weekend past.
Keepers thrive on confidence as much as, and perhaps more than, any other type of player. They don’t get forgiven in the way strikers do, strikers who get all the glory because they can screw up five times in a game and still produce a winner.
No wonder a lot of people consider goalkeepers to be slightly mad.
That kind of pressure would drive you mad.
The kind that comes with being the only players who don’t get to make errors, whose every mistake is catalogued and used against them, and in a new country with team-mates he was only allowed to see at training … is it any wonder that this guy didn’t make the grade? Is it any wonder he needed to leave this club to find his confidence again somewhere else?
Now that he’s found it, he’s worth something.
I don’t think he could return to Celtic Park; he would instantly be under that pressure all over again and would never get any benefit of the doubt. What he can do is help us recoup some of the transfer fee.
The Ibrox club is trying to flog some of the dreck they have left.
One hilarious piece the other day suggested that they may attempt to sell Ben Davies.
To who exactly?
The clubs who wouldn’t snap him up when he was available for next to nothing?
That was when we were briefly interested.
Ibrox paid £4 million for him.
No-one else was interested then, and if he’s considered surplus to requirements at the club which finished second in Scotland what chance do they have of even seeing that back?
Hagi and Kamara are being touted with a move.
Neither would fetch the £4 million we’ve told clubs that we want for Barkas.
And hey, we might not get that … but whatever we do get is still likely to be more, for a flop, than they will bring in for the best of what is left at their own club after the departures of Morelos and Kent.
That just about sums up the appalling state that they are in.