John Collins has pinpointed a number of factors which contributed to Neil Lennon resigning as manager on Thursday. The former Celtic & Monaco midfielder told TalkSport that there were a number of reasons behind the fall from grace for the 9IAR Champions but these could likely be attributed to their transfer dealings last summer.
Firstly, Collins believed that the failure to clinch the deal for Fraser Forster lead to a poor campaign as his replacement Vasilis Barkas failed to meet the grade. The move for Forster also allowed Craig Gordon to move on from the club, joining Hearts on a free transfer.
“Good football teams start with a spine, starting with a goalkeeper. The goalkeeper makes saves, communicates with the back four and gives them confidence.
“Fraser Forster was lined up, near enough done but the deal fell through at the last minute so they had to go out and get another keeper, they brought in a goalkeeper from Greece. He never made saves every time a team had a shot on target so he got dropped. They moved to no.2 goalkeeper and then no.3.”
Celtic have played three goalies since Forster left. Two players that trained with Forster last season – Scott Bain and Conor Hazard become a makeshift No.1s, replacing Vasilis Barkas who was meant to be the like-for-like replacement. The £4.5m arrival from AEK Athens was billed as Fraser Forster’s replacement but Barkas hasn’t settled at the club. He has struggled to make any positive impression and criticism has been planted at his door.
The next pair singled out by Collins were Odsonne Edouard and club captain Scott Brown, claiming that the Frenchman wasn’t performing to his best abilities as he wasn’t happy that a move had fallen through; meanwhile Collins claimed Brown’s legs had gone and needed replaced.
“Odsonne Edouard had COVID but he wanted a move, he wasn’t working hard enough.
“Scott Brown has been a great servant for Celtic, I sold him from Hibs, but at 35 years of age his legs have gone. Not completely but from a no.6 I think we need legs and power and energy and for a decade no one could run away from him. We need to replace him.”