Vasilis Barkas made a surprise return to the Celtic starting XI against Dundee Utd on Wednesday afternoon after sitting out the previous five games for the club.
Neil Lennon explained the decision behind bringing the goalkeeper back into the fray, citing he was Celtic’s number one and he didn’t want to put the pressure on Conor Hazard for the vital game at. Ibrox this weekend.
I’m just not buying that explanation.
Ten days prior to dropping Hazard for Barkas, Neil Lennon saw fit to play Conor in what was monumental Cup Final with history at stake as well as Neil’s own personal treble.
He entrusted the rookie goalkeeper and while he didn’t cover himself in glory during the game, he came up big during the penalty shootout.
The goalkeeper was then trusted to play against Ross County and then Hamilton. Suddenly, he drops off the radar against Dundee Utd. Did Neil Lennon just look at his calendar and notice was Ibrox was coming up yesterday?
It’s clear to me the manager has been told there’s little chance of a goalkeeper coming in during the January window. Peter Lawwell and the board are looking at the numbers and after their big expense to bring Barkas in, adding another keeper into the mix costs money and continues to devalue Barkas.
This isn’t me telling you Conor Hazard should be number one; none of our three goalkeepers have made a really compelling case to be number one at the moment.
It’s just peculiar how Barkas has been brought in and out of the side when Neil Lennon has always considered him his number one. Had this been true, he would have started against Hearts at Hampden.
Neil Lennon has been very cautious about talking about any deals being done in January and knows he needs to get the best out of what he’s got.
We hope Barkas can prove his worth and it starts at Ibrox, if he’s going to be our goalkeeper for the rest of the season, we have to keep our fingers crossed. There’s no doubt he can play better.