No 1-Our New Legend?
Most of us will remember the bad old days when it didn’t really matter who lined up in goal for the team because they were basically rubbish. In my own opinion,we went decades between the glory years of Ronnie Simpson and John Fallon until the arrival of Artur Boruc without having a capable presence,the kind of player who could be trusted to do more than simply pick the ball up from behind the net and kick it back into play. I’m always minded not to rubbish someone who is better at their job than I would be,and that pass marks should be awarded at the very least to such as Evan Williams and Ally Hunter.
But lets face it,they weren’t Peter Shilton or Sepp Maier. And for the best part of forty years,we could have had either between the sticks,even at their current seventy or eighty years-old,and they would likely have been an improvement!
That all changed with the arrival of Artur,who really opened our eyes to the joy and pleasure of having a proper goalkeeper behind the defence. Someone who could get them out of jail when necessary. Aye,he could be a bit eccentric to say the least,and he certainly wasn’t without his faults at times-that 4-2 defeat by the huns in 2008 will always be a blemish on his record,for instance-but bloody hell,we finally had a goalkeeper!
Of course,as we all know,we had a bit of a flawed individual as well. Headstrong off the pitch as well as on it. So it was with some regret that we waved goodbye to Artur in 2010,all of us regretting losing the keeper he should have been but few of us mourning the loss of the keeper he was too frequently becoming. And all wondering what next,because some of the memories of past bloody nightmares were still fresh!
And lo,we got Fraser Forster! Aw man,a giant of a keeper,a big awkward-looking fella-but one whom we soon took to our hearts. A fella who will always be associated with the night of our 125th anniversary as we famously beat the unbeatable,the Barcelona side of 2012.
La Gran Muralla,he was christened that night-and seven years later,Alfredo Morelos was probably calling him something else in the same language after his worldy in the League Cup Final at Hampden. Christopher Jullien might have scored the goal that won us the cup,but it was keeping them out at the other end that was the difference.
And he did it all day. And looked like he could have done it all week too.
Of course,Fraser left in 2014 for richer pastures,and soon established himself in the top ranks down south before a mix of injuries and personal problems saw him drop out of favour. We settled for rehabilitating both Craig Gordon and Scott Bain,both of whom were largely better than those from our youth and rarely let us down. We could certainly have had worse,that’s for sure! But with Big Lurch’s mystifying decision to return to Southampton,we had to find another goalkeeper pronto. And fair play to the board in doing so-and in signing a first-choice international keeper at that.
So it is time to welcome aboard our latest No 1,Vasilias Barkas. Some of us will remember him playing for AEK Athens a couple of years back,and breaking our hearts as he did so. Let’s hope he can continue that type of behaviour for us as he continues a fifteen-year run of bloody excellent Celtic goalkeepers,and there’s something that for decades I never thought I was likely to say!
Welcome aboard,big man. Welcome to Paradise,a place where strange things happen and legends are made. And you’re about nine months away from becoming one too.
Above article by BMCUWP.