Neil Lennon explains Scott Bain decision; not pleased with Barkas' Celtic displays

By David Walton

January 27, 2021

Neil Lennon has explained his decision to go with Scott Bain over Vasilis Barkas for this evening’s game against Hamilton.

Barkas has been Celtic’s number one for the vast majority of the season, after signing for the club in a £4.5million deal from AEK Athens in the summer [Scottish Sun].

After a spell out the team, he was reinstated for recent games against Rangers and Livingston respectively. Another three goals were shipped in those matches, and that’s clearly been enough for Lennon.

He’s been speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound show tonight (19:24), and has explained why he’s moved to drop the Greek so quickly after he brought him back.

“Vasilis, we went with him, but I don’t think his performances have merited keeping his place.

“I think he needs more time to develop to the rigours of the game here. He needs to physically develop a little bit more. So I’m going with Scott for his experience, and in the league he hasn’t let us down too much.”

Lennon reinstating Bain paints a grim picture for Barkas

Fans will be split on this. You’ll have those who are convinced Barkas is nowhere near good enough and shouldn’t play another minute. You’ll then have those who believe you have to stick by your goalkeeper in behind a settled defence.

Make no mistake, Barkas hasn’t been impressive. But dropping him at home to Hamilton? A game that could’ve been used to bag him a clean sheet and some morale? It seems a touch odd.

I’ve not been convinced by Barkas. However, I’m struggling to see what Lennon saw that forced him into dropping him tonight in particular. He wasn’t at fault for the goal at Ibrox. I also felt he was left horribly exposed by the defence for the two goals at Livingston also.

Celtic goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas (Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Switching him for Bain is a bizarre one too. A back-up goalkeeper that has proven on countless occasions that he also isn’t good enough. Surely, for development’s sake, it would’ve been wise to go with Conor Hazard instead.

Tonight’s decision doesn’t do him any favours. A penny for his thoughts – he’s been far from the worst performer for the Hoops this season.

Regardless, it’s going well tonight for a change. We’ve kept a clean sheet so far, and Lennon will feel that’s vindicated his selection.

In other news, Jeremie Frimpong has provided a classy goodbye message to the Celtic family.