Vasilis Barkas gets backing from ex-manager after Celtic horror moment

By David Walton

July 22, 2021

Former AEK Athens manager Manolo Jimenez has been the one to provide Vasilis Barkas with some relief after his Celtic horror moment.

Barkas is looking to reinvent himself at Parkhead after a struggling first campaign. However, things went disastrously in our first competitive game of the season vs Midtjylland on Tuesday night.

The Greek goalkeeper missed Evander’s seemingly routine curling free-kick into the box. It ended up costing Celtic victory, and led to Michael Stewart claiming that he wouldn’t come back from it post-match.

Barkas has since taken plenty of stick for his error, leaving Celtic needing a win in Denmark to progress to the third qualifying round. However, he’s been given some light relief by former manager Jimenez.

The first public figure to defend Barkas, he said the following as quoted by the Scottish Sun: I can tell you definitely that Vasilis is a great boy and a good goalkeeper. It would not have been easy for him to adapt to a new country during the most difficult time of all with the pandemic on.

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“I wish him luck because he deserves it and I hope and think he will come good at Celtic.”

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Vasilis Barkas running out of Celtic strikes; Midtjylland moment wasn’t his first

This was his golden opportunity. Had he performed against Midtjylland and made some saves, then it would’ve been a successful night for him. It also would’ve been the first proper sign for Celtic fans that he was turning things around.

But now it just feels as though we’re back to square one. Yes, Barkas has been rightly criticised for his error last night. Mainly because it wasn’t his first. He made a range of mistakes in his debut season, which we were happy to chalk down to a settling-in period.

That can’t be used anymore. He’s had a full year to get used to Scotland and the football played here. There can be no excuse for simply failing to catch or punch a cross that should be bread and butter for you. Regardless of what country you’re in.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It’s fine to say that Barkas will come good, but when? How many chances is he now going to get? We can’t hammer Scott Bain for his list of errors but keep giving Barkas fresh opportunities.

It’s becoming clear now that Celtic simply don’t have a number one goalkeeper among them. Or not a suitable one at least. Barkas, Bain, and Conor Hazard have all had their opportunities.

It’s time for Dom McKay to add to his shopping list. We can’t go through another season of this from Vasilis.

In other news: Celtic-linked Ko Itakura wants dream move to a “world-famous club”

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