I watched Fraser Forster (29) deny Liverpool on Sunday with a series of impressive saves, one of which from the penalty spot. The big keeper improved enormously in his four years at Celtic. Another FA Premier League ‘keeper, Artur Boruc (37), spent five years at Celtic, a period which was marked with some vagaries in form.
Boruc arrived as the best keeper we had seen in decades, but two seasons in a mooted moved to Bayern Munich (who travelled to Glasgow to see him) were off the agenda. Boruc’s form had dived and he was no longer considered in the elite category.
Craig Gordon (34) was an excellent keeper under Ronny Deila but when Brendan Rodgers arrived a weakness became evident in Craig’s game: he wasn’t comfortable with Brendan’s passing game, which required keepers to be good with their feet.
Craig was dropped and didn’t make the start of the Champions League campaign, but eight months on he looks like he was born to play this way. The transformation in form has been remarkable.
Stevie Woods worked with all three keepers. He was the formative influence on Fraser, he rescued Artur from ignominious decline and with Craig Gordon he took a senior keeper and transformed his game.
We’ll talk later about Brendan Rodger’s striking ability to improve players, but there can scarcely be a goalkeeper coach in Britain with a more impressive track record in this regard than “Wee Woodsy”.