If there’s one thing we did find out today, it’s that Vasilis Barkas is still held in high regard by many Celtic fans.
The Hoops supporters aren’t best keen on the prospect of their Greek shot-stopper moving anytime soon. That’s despite an error-strewn season in which he’s only made 20 appearances for the club.
Greek journalist Giannis Chorianopoulos claimed that a loan move could be an option for him this summer. But a move back home to Greece is still considered a no-go at the moment.
Neil Lennon has struggled to replace Fraser Forster despite Barkas appearing to be that man. Unfortunately for Vasilis, he hasn’t been given the strong run of games he may have expected.
Lennon has now twice dropped him for prolonged periods of time after previously stating he would back him. The most outrageous example of this came at the end of 2020. Lennon threw Barkas in over Conor Hazard and used the excuse that he wanted to use his experience [Scottish Sun]. He also made a big claim about how the club have invested in him and that he was ready to be tossed back in.
Vasilis Barkas needed more backing from Celtic manager
Yet fast forward two games – a clean sheet vs Dundee Utd and a one-goal defeat at Ibrox. Barkas was back out the team again. He did feature in a 2-2 draw away to Livingston. Yet despite being horribly exposed by his defence for both goals, Lennon dropped him again and said he wasn’t settling [BBC].
This would all be fair enough if Lennon had the talent available to replace him, but he doesn’t. We’ve watched on as Scott Bain has let in poor goals and failed to look commanding as a Barkas alternative.
It looks as though Celtic will end the season without a proper number one. With no real candidate who’s managed to grab the bull by the horns and make the position their own. Lennon has switched far too frequently between Barkas, Bain and young Conor Hazard.
With so much speculation in the air regarding next season, nobody knows what it will hold for Barkas. If a new manager is appointed, he may want his own number one in the door. If Lennon somehow manages to stay in the job, he’s shown no signs that he’s ready to throw Barkas back in.
Considering the Greek stopper didn’t even make the squad to face Ross County on Sunday, something isn’t right.
Even so, he certainly still has the support of the Celtic fan-base. Many believe it’s time to lay off the towering ex-AEK Athens man. And faced with the idea of him leaving in the summer, it’s clear plenty in the support are confused with that particular idea:
Deserves a run
He deserves a run in the team, Lennon trying to make a scapegoat out of him & divert the blame.
— Everything Celtic (@aboutceltic) February 22, 2021
Made the scapegoat when he had an utterly horrid defence infront of him. 9 clean sheets in 20 games for us.
Our goalkeeper games to clean sheets stats:
Barkas 9 in 20
Bain 4 in 15
Hazard 4 in 6 https://t.co/DmMe3V2yWL
— Paul Mcginley (@PaulMcG1994) February 23, 2021
This guy has been given a raw deal, it’s his first season in a new country and he’s been flung behind a dodgy defence, he’s an international keeper who’s also played well in the champions league he deserves another shot under a new manager https://t.co/9FWXwtPPdw
— JustAnOrdinaryBhoy (@ordinarybhoy) February 23, 2021
Treated appallingly….the manager is the issue not Barkas 👍
— CMac (@CMackie659) February 22, 2021
Something is not right here. A friend of mine who is a massive Panathinikos fan rates him very highly and finds it odd when I speak to him. You don’t just become a bad goalkeeper overnight and even watching clips of him with AEK/Greece it seems there’s a good goalkeeper there.
— Grav67 (@Grav67) February 22, 2021
He’s playing behind Duffy, give the guy a break. Then you have Lennon makes him no.1 keeper only to drop him 1 game later and flip to Bain
New manager – new Season – Fresh start.
— Ryu (@Ryu369k) February 22, 2021
Barkas has been very badly treated at Celtic and never given a chance to establish himself , he proved to be a good keeper before he arrived.
— Alex Anderson (@AlexAnd52368255) February 23, 2021
Shocking treatment, always gets thrown into the games where we’ll always concede with the current defence. Milan , rangers etc
— Luke🍀 (@Luke_67) February 22, 2021
— Mov (@Mov67623428) February 22, 2021