Celtic’s Goalkeeping Search Has To Be Right For European Success

Celtic will be in the market for a new number 1 goalkeeper this summer, following the retirement of Joe Hart. Every day there is another name linked with the gloves at Paradise, meaning few people are likely to have any knowledge on who the Bhoys are actually tracking. However, we all know the importance of getting the right replacement.

To have any chance of European progression, Celtic need a top class goalkeeper. Fraser Forster won us games on his own against the likes of Barcelona and brought us to within minutes of a point in the Nou Camp. Artur Boruc made a great penalty save from Louis Saha to hand us victory over Man Utd. These pair were matchwinners and were trusty and reliable. Though Joe Hart and Craig Gordon made mistakes in Europe, like all keepers, they were also generally reliable. At the very least, Celtic need that security behind the defence, otherwise we can forget getting any big results against big sides.

Hart and Gordon did decent jobs for us, Forster and Boruc were outstanding. Aside from that quartet, the goalkeeping position has been troublesome for the Hoops for a number of years.

There’s been the failed Barkas transfer, the bemusing moves for players like Bain, Seigrist, Brown and others; and there’s been the overlooking of the goalkeeping position at times when it was our weakest point. Indeed, many feel that the UEFA Cup trophy would be sat in Paradise now if Martin O’Neill had a better eye for a goalie. And after that 2003 heartbreak, it was Magnus Hedman who made blunders that played a big part in losing out on the Champions League last 16.

We have tended to be better in the goalkeeping market recently. That will have to continue because without a top keeper or striker then Celtic have little chance against the elite. After all, against superior opposition, we must take the majority of our chances and have a keeper capable of keeping us in it at the other end.

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up on the English south coast with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were previously sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are now available on Amazon.

1 Comment

  1. Think the whole structure of the overall squad has to be addressed to gain success at CL level next season imo?
    For the past 2 CL campaigns, we have remained as a team so dependent upon certain individual players within the squad?
    Yet we still haven’t managed to be able to start with our strongest available 11 in any of them games?
    That only indicates that the overall squad strength was never really in place to begin with, which is more important nowadays with the 5 sub rule in operation?
    You would be hoping that your keeper doesn’t need to be replaced and is available for such matches, but we haven’t been to well prepared for a case of should they be unavailable or pick up an injury during a match?
    This practice of how we have been operating, changes hugely during the summer imo?
    If anything has been learnt from last season, then it needs to be imo?
    Correct to say top quality keepers and strikers can be the match winners in games usually decided by fine margins at CL level especially?
    We have been punished for not getting our preparation work right within the overall look of our squad recently, with the gap in quality between 1st and 2nd choice player’s in each position, way to big.
    Has been highlighted over the past 3 seasons especially in the keepers position, so hopefully it gets resolved during the summer, along with numerous other positions available within the squad currently imo?