VASILIS BARKAS watched on as Celtic were beat 4-1 by Sparta Prague on Thursday. He was probably thinking he would’ve done better than his colleague Scott Bain but also wondering how he, a Greek Internationalist, was on the bench. Neil Lennon has come under some fierce criticism from supporters due to the poor results in recent weeks but one change that he can make is reinstating Barkas to the starting XI.
£4.5m man Vasilis Barkas has underwhelmed this far in his Celtic career; however, he has to be offered the opportunity to come good and playing Scott Bain ahead of him is to the hinderance of the team. That is no disrespect to Bain, he is a fine goalkeeper but Barkas was bought for the big money and whilst he has hardly set the world alight with his performances, he has been unlucky with the types of goals he’s conceded – owing to poor defending in front of him.
Neil Lennon and the recruitment team may be eyeing another goalkeeper. It would be prudent if they did given how well stocked we were last year compared to this year. Although it is likely that one of the two goalkeepers at the club now will start against Rangers in January and that is a must win game. Lennon needs to go with Barkas and get him his confidence back. If the January window comes and he feels there is another option then he can action this but for now, the best goalkeeper needs to play.
That is Barkas, a £4.5m acquisition from AEK Athens and Greece’s No.1. The transition to life in Glasgow hasn’t been smooth for the 26-year-old but he has joined the club at a truly extraordinary time, where emotions are fraught.
Tomorrow can get him back involved in the first team picture and Neil Lennon should do so else he faces another probing inquiry by supporters as to why the multi-million pound signing hasn’t played.