International Break best ever 11 ,,, Goalkeeper
International break time. Again. Doncha just love them? They’re absolute poison to Timternet as we know,so here at Sentinel Celts,we’ve decided to be different. We will run for the next eleven days our greatest ever team,position by position. Mahe,majoc and Saltires en Sevilla have all agreed to contribute their different take on each,though I suspect there will be a few unanimous decisions! There will also be a few honourable mentions for those who didn’t quite make the cut.
This was a really difficult choice for me,it was very tight between Artur Boruc and FF. Both were very different goalkeepers,but both were outstanding,and this in a position where we had historically suffered. I give it to FF,because he started with a clean sheet bud lacking in confidence,and boy did he grow into that shirt. He filled all of his 6’7″ into that jersey during his time with us.
He had previously been POTY at Norwich under Paul Lambert as they cantered to their place in the EPL,but Fraser arrived to bemusement from the Celtic support. Another cheapo loan deal,they never work.
Aye. This one did. He played nearly 200 times for us over four years. By the time he left us for the usual destination,everyone in football knew who he was. Apart from the England management team of course,who shamefully ignored his progress.
He was a steady keeper in his first season or so,we weren’t doing all that great against the array of honest mistakes caused by a desperate need to keep some life in the corpse over Ibrox way. His move to hero status really came in his second season,early on. A dodgy last-minute penalty to Hearts,and we are only one up. No Celtic keeper has saved a penalty in over three years,and for reasons I’ve just mentioned,they were getting plenty of practice! Keep the ball low,into the corner,the big fella is 6’7″ and he’ll never get down in time.
Good plan. Good penalty too. Great f…..g save!!!
A Star Is Born!
Fraser just kicked on from there. His performances against Barcelona are legendary,and deserve an article to themselves. His record-smashing 1256 minutes of clean sheets-four minutes shy of FOURTEEN GAMES,ffs-will take some beating. By the time he left,he was at the top of his game,Lionel Messi quoted as being sure he would join one of the Big Six down south,and that he’d even been considered at Barcelona,where his exploits had earned him the soubriquet of The Great Wall. You can google the Spanish translation yourself.
I think we got £12m for him. Southampton got a bargain,though his treatment by them recently has been appalling.
Others worthy of a mention in my time are Ally Hunter and John Fallon. Both very unfortunate keepers,as their errors tended to be in very important matches,but otherwise very dependable. Ally was never the same after wrapping himself round the posts at Hampden. Evan Williams was dependable but never really made the position his own,somehow. We really suffered after that,I wasn’t too keen on Peter Latchford or Pat Bonnar,both long serving players. David Marshall should have been but wasn’t,and probably the best of all,Lou Macari gave a free transfer to. Shay Given. What a loss.
Saltires En Seville ,,,,,
Good idea to fill in the blanks during International Follies
This has been done before, but it’s always worthwhile and fun.
The standard fans’ 11 is as close to my actual favs as possible to get. So, I set myself a few benchmarks:
A. Have to have actually seen them play and remember them as special
B. Must be a Celts for a significant period of 100 games. It’s only my rule, but it cost me A few …sigh!
C. They must score goals – ok The Right Back gets a pass here
D. Formation is important and I’ve gone 4-2-4. If it was good enough for Jock,,,,,
- I saw Ronnie play live a few times but don’t remember him other than watching ‘67 Final and a few clips since.. loved big Peter (Gas Meter) Latchford but settled on the Holy Goalie Arthur Boruc: 230 games (2005-2010). Commanding, fearless, strong and Gallus as…3rd Central Defender when required. I’m overlooking his mental streak, but the best ‘keepers should all have a bit of madness about them. Some great moments but his goal celebrations were worth the entrance money alone.
Keeper is an easy one for me if Im honest . At a mere 43 winters most of my supporting life in my humble opinion I watched a series of pretenders to the throne .
Some were better than others but ultimately it would be a long time before I seen a player amongst the sticks and felt totally at ease that he was a good one that knew his job and comfortable that we had him there. Also vitally important to me was that he wanted to be there.
And so the first man to make me think we cant do better here , relax , he’s got it covered , was Artur Boruc.
I loved him Ill admit and in his pomp he reminded me of a young Peter Schmeichel. Had an arrogance and a bit of a swagger about him which I like in an athlete ( as long as its held in check ) but the very first thing I and many would have noticed is ,,, hes a big boy .
He was big boned and as we would later see the potential was there for him to balloon in the right ( or is it wrong ) circumstances . I see the same genes in Pochettino , and the mirror 😉
There was little not to like about him , Polish have always been welcomed fully by the Celtic family , and a certain Pope ( RIP ) helped cement that relationship . He was a little crazy , loved a bit of malarkey when he played now and then ( think blessing himself at Ibrox which resulted in a Police caution ) and was even pictured toking a post meal cigar I remember ( ala Marc Crosas).
When I think of him the overwhelming memory is saving a pen from Saha down in Manchester . He always flinched to one side and flung himself to the other , remember ? And hey , many times it worked . Wgs seemed to love the big Pole indeed and had utmost faith in him . I do like a try before you buy signing also as Ive said before and he was one .
I do think we could and should in hindsight have cashed in when Milan came sniffing around and the 12 mill figure was being thrown around which was decent wedge at the time .
He played in the besting of United and Fergie in the Champs League and shone brightly . A tale of those games reached me and probably you also so forgive me if youve read this before .
Mc Manus told a supporter of rooming with Darren Fletcher after those 2 games in SCotland duty. Darren told him Fergie was effing fuming as he had insisted they beat the leather belts being the real giant plus his pride wanted the high ground and bragging rights back in bonnie Scotland .
After the second leg in the dressing room he said to Van der Saar “ And you ya big dick , are you buying the wee Japs dvd , because youre effing in it twice ! “
So , for me , its King Artur . Thanks for the memories and the service our Polish friend . YNWA .