Barkas and the Stevie Woods Academy


Vasilis Barkas does not enjoy too much appreciation among the Celtic support. It is not that he makes mistakes, more that he has failed to take the numerous opportunities presented by a largely lax defence to convince us he has the talent to become a mainstay in the team for years to come. What’s for sure is that he cannot perform the miracles we were treated to last year by Fraser Forster.

At 26-years-old, Vasilis should be approaching his prime years, but instead of building on a solid reputation gained at AEK Athens, he has seen Scott Bain and Conor Hazard chosen ahead of him this season.

There will be many changes this summer and if the manager (?) wants to move Barkas on he will likely find a taker, but there are reasons I would persevere with him for the rest of the season. First of those is the development we saw in Fraser Forster under goalkeeping coach, Stevie Woods.

When Fraser first arrived at Celtic on loan a decade ago the jury was out on him, some of the support preferred Lukas Zaluska, whom he shared the gloves with for a period. Fraser was 18 months into his load period when a penalty save against Hearts brought wider recognition of his improvement over that period, however, he continued to improve well into his third season at Celtic. There are few keepers Stevie has not improved in his years at Celtic, given time, Barkas will also benefit, although let’s hope he does not have too many opportunities to demonstrate that against Hamilton tomorrow.

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  1. Seen some criticism for selling wee Frimpong,


    what can we do with a player who made it clear he wanted to leave.

  2. We can debate Frimpong’s ability, but it’s great money,the problem is there in nobody to trust to spend it wisely.

  3. glendalystonsils on

    Time to hit the hay . I’ll be back lurking tomorrow hoping there’s some kind of glimmer of good news . Between Neil Lennon’s bizarre, embattled presser today and wee Jeremie deciding he’s had enough , we could sure do with some .

  4. Go tell the Spartim on

    What can we do with a manager that needs to go but won’t ?



    Allegri and Benitez have suitors better take them off the list 😂

  5. So the on no-one’s been waiting for – Alex Neil – here goes…



    Took over Hamilton Accies in April 2013 at the tender age of 31. In his first full season (2013-14) he them promoted through the play-offs – a shock win over Hibs, he lost the home leg 2-0, won the away leg 2-0 and won on pens.



    They had a good start to life in the Premier League before Norwich City came knocking. So in January 2015 he joined them. They finished 3rd in the league before winning the play-offs.



    The 2015-16 season was disappointing as Norwich finished second bottom and 6 points from safety. They kept him on for the 2016-17 season, but he was sacked in March 2017 with Norwich 9 points off a play-off place in 8th.



    In summer 2017, he got the Preston job, and he’s now into his 4th season. In that time he’s finished:



    7th in 2018 – 2points off the play-offs, 17 off second, and 26 behind the winners;


    14th in 2019 – 13 off the play-offs, 28 off second and 33 off top; and


    9th in 2020 – 4 off the play-offs, 17 off second and 27 off top.



    He’s currently got Preston sitting 11th – 6 points off the play-offs, 11 off second and 17 off top, having played a game more than most teams above him.



    In terms of transfers, at Preston he’s largely been dealing in the £1-2m market. His record signing for Preston was Tom Baylis from Coventry for £1.98m. He did spend a fortune at Norwich – around £70m overall – including £9m on Steven Naismith 🤦‍♂️



    Development and sales – obviously McCarthy and MacArthur are the ones he’s known for in his Accies days. His biggest sale was Jordan Hugill to West Ham (c£9m) but that was in 2017 and Neil was just in the door. After that it’s Calum Robinson, who was sold to Sheffield United for around £7m. He was subsequently involved in a swap deal with West Brom which saw our old mate Oliver Burke got to Sheffield. Robinson has scored 3 premier league goals since leaving Preston. The only other sales for cash appear to be £3.6m Greg Cunningham to Cardiff and £400k Stevie May to Aberdeen.



    Everyone else who’s left went on frees – given we’re apparently talking to the Bens – Pearson and Davis about Bosmans, and Sevco target Daniel Johnson amd Ireland international Alan Browne is also out of contract, it speaks to poor player trading.



    Tactical analysis here: https://totalfootballanalysis.com/team-analysis/preston-north-end-2019-20-scout-report-tactical-analysis-tactics


    Looks like direct football and a less than secure defence – sounds familiar…🙄



    Verdict – a pass for me. Without meaning to be disrespectful, he’s got a mid-table team playing and achieving what they would expect – possibly slightly over-achieving but not by much.


    Player development and trading is pretty shocking – 4 players sold for cash in almost 4 years is exceptionally poor – and he’s due to see the guts of his side leave at the end of their contracts in summer.

  6. My spelling is terrible in that last post – sorry guys.



    The sales relate only to Preston, though even with a season at Norwich in the Premier League, he only sold two players for more than £10m (Nathan Redmond and Robbie Brady).

  7. GreeninbingleyinOslo on

    Rest in peace Dr Josef Venglos.



    A great manager and a great and humble man.



    Every country in Europe exalted Dr Venglos as the footballing genius he was.



    Then he came to this nasty little corner called Scotland, and he was pilloried and humiliated by the press, who used his decency and openness as a stick to beat him with, painting him as a bumbling oaf from the sticks.



    Some of the loveliest football I’ve ever seen us play came under him, when we clicked.



    And he gave us Lubo.



    Lubo got the same ‘Dr Who?’ treatment as Dr Venglos when he joined us.



    I remember seeing a press conference after Lubo had starred for us, and he was asked:


    “how does it feel going from zero to hero?” and Lubo just stared silently at the questioner, incredulously, for a good 10 seconds, and said: “I have never been a zero”.



    I was not surprised that Dr Venglos did not stay longer in Scotland because, frankly, why would you?



    RIP and thank you, Dr Jo.

  8. Wee Frimpong leaving Cryptic riddles on his Twitter and Wee Dembele liking them .



    Best to cash in on these wee uppity types before they become Islam Feruzidts.




  9. TT – rumours are that there’s a bullying culture at the club and Frimpong was one of the bullied!



    Whether it’s true or not, Moussa Dembele sent out a similarly cryptic message when he left and it later emerged he was right, so I wouldn’t be too hasty to judge – in the days of non-disclosure agreements it’s the only way a player can get something out there…



    And RIP Dr Jo! Lubo against Juventus and Mjallby against Albertz – thank you!

  10. As a hugely frustrated Celtic fan, with all that is going on at our Club



    I agree with the Club on this one – if Jeremy Frimpong wanted to go, get the best deal possible and let him go


    Brings us back to the concerns though, who now plays either right back or right midfield ?


    Kris Ajer ? Or Stephen Welsh or Anthony Ralston


    Elhamed also wants out, so as soon as we get a pin offer, he can also go


    I would also allow the others who want out, to go as well – suppose we need to get offers first,


    Hence Frimpong moving



    The club is in a mess, with horrendous planning through to see us through these impacts


    Horrendous team / squad management


    Players regressing and not improving, due to poor coaching/development


    Does it surprise that players want out ??


    I have stated a few times, we could or will be looking for around 8 first team players come the summer




    How on earth did we get there ???



    I will repeat though, those that want out, can all go

  11. Jumped on to say RIP Dr Jo.



    Was one of the good guys and was treated with proper SMSM contempt. Wearing one of my Lubo t-shirts tomorrow.

  12. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Chelsea – 11 managers in 17 years under RA.



    Tuchel has signed an 18-month contract.



    Yip – that just about fits the model.



    Good night all.



    And remember, God willing, you’ll wake up tomorrow supporting Celtic.



    Despite the current ….



    … would you have it any other way?



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  13. GreeninbingleyinOslo on 26th January 2021 11:16 pm


    Rest in peace Dr Josef Venglos.







    Loved your wee Dr Jo piece. Thank you for the smile.

  14. maybe the best story ever told from the best story teller CQN ever knew.



    pull up a chair, have your drink of choice and sink into the genius of writer and the historic threads of lubo to doctor jo, to johnny madden,



    a pity our guy in slovakia gave up posting as well






    The tale of Lubo and Joe —– and the old man in the park!






    The tale below has been told elsewhere before. A shortened version first appeared on Celtic Quick News a few years ago, and then I rewrote it and extended it as part of the Celtic Anthology Book of stories.



    Given recent events and the activities of the Celtic Graves Society, I thought it was worth reproducing with a couple of small changes.



    Some of the scenes, stories and events within this tale are absolutely true. Others, alas, are the product of a fertile imagination ……….. apparently.



    However, the basis of the story is absolutely true.








  15. SAINT STIVS on 27TH JANUARY 2021 12:48 AM



    maybe the best story ever told from the best story teller CQN ever knew.



    pull up a chair, have your drink of choice and sink into the genius of writer and the historic threads of lubo to doctor jo, to johnny madden.



    *Johnny Madden is a descendant of the spouse of one of our past Chairman as well as a wee loddie that ran away fae us tae Villa Park.

  16. Brown another year, why? No room for sentimentality and tbh he has not shown any leadership this season when the verbial hit the fan. Why tie up another wage when we could use it for another younger player. Thanks for the memories Scott and ta ta for now.

  17. Tyrone Tim on 27th January 2021 1:31 am



    Brown another year, why? No room for sentimentality and tbh he has not shown any leadership this season when the verbial hit the fan. Why tie up another wage when we could use it for another younger player. Thanks for the memories Scott and ta ta for now.






    Eh……. One thing to say it’s time for him to hang his full 90 min boots twice a week another thing to say “ta ta, thanks for the memories” in the way you did.

  18. Very sorry to see Frimpong leave- I know his form this season was not great but that was true of so many of our team.



    The professional judges see plenty of development potential in Jeremie as they do with Ajer and Eddie. Their form slip will not deter big money bids.



    There was always gonna be a big clear up after the campaign for 10. It has started 6 months early because of our abject failure.




    RIP Dr. Jo- a great coach and a great man he deserved better at Celtic.

  19. setting free the bears for Res. 12 & Oscar Knox on 27th January 2021 1:49 am



    Very sorry to see Frimpong leave- I know his form this season was not great but that was true of so many of our team.






    Not going to lie, if we got good money I’m happy.

  20. AIPPLE on 27TH JANUARY 2021 1:41



    Don’t be so sensitive, I jest, of course regards the ‘ta ta for now’ but you get my drift.

  21. Tyrone Tim on 27th January 2021 2:17 am



    I don’t get your drift. Currently watching your “Scott” lead us out on Jelly and Ice cream day.



    I am not being sensitive. words and sentiment matter.

  22. Good morning all from a quite mild Garngad on matchday ⚽️



    RIP Big Shuggie


    RIP Dr Joe



    Fans all fighting among themselves whilst our custodians are United in doing feck all to move our club forward. Shambles



    Big Jimmy hope you and wee Rocky are well my friend get on here with those jokes.



    Melbourne Mick if you are lurking Hail Hail I wish you would come on and let us know how all those Oz Tim’s are getting on. Also if any Huns have appeared out of the woodwork, no point in asking about a handsome Hun.



    Jobo not seen you on for a while come on sir we miss the ole EK update and the wise and sensible posts. Hope you are well.



    Right onto the game tonight.



    The mighty Hamilton, I am not even going to guess what team the Roulette wheel will pick so I will pick my own team.






    Ajer El Hamed Bitton Laxalt



    Soro McGregor Moi






    Eddie Griff



    Definitely got to be 2 Centre Forwards at home. Must be eh?



    D :)

  23. Hotel de Paris on

    So Lenny says that he speaks with Lawwell more or less on a daily basis but claims not to know if Man City have sell on clause re JF. I have difficulty believing anything said by Lennon/Lawwell and Bankier.



    Good of Lenny to use the extinct OF term

  24. Is this the day we start to turn things around? Start the process which will give us the best chance next season?



    Or will it be more of the same?


    The slow, predictable walk to the seasons end and the sevco coronation

  25. JACKIEMAC on 26TH JANUARY 2021 8:29 PM



    An Tearmann – I got a bugbear at the moment – it’s to do with a great cqn post of while ago; I wish I could remember whose post it was – its gist was ‘ the bunnet saved us but it turned us into a PLC’.



    Now that the 10 has slipped, who is Celtic? Is it the 50,000? If so who do the board serve?



    For the record, Pl, the board serve Celtic far more than I do – they put many



    many more times effort and personal lives into Celtic than I do; however , who do they represent?



    Is that where this season has fallen to shipe ? We don’t know who we are and the hun are a mess but they have known they’ve wanted to stop this more than anything they can comprehend..




    As St Stivs says BRTH and i think TBB done essays on formation into plc.



    Jackie you and i are Celtic.each one of us is.


    How we enact that power is ours.


    We all look at 10 differently but we go on


    Dont get me wrong itll be tough but Celtic goes on..



    Who do board serve? Celtic Plc who oversee Celticfc.-they are the corporate continuation of Celtic1888.1892 club ànd company are 1.


    And if we look at last 20 years there has been


    some success they wouhld argue.



    Jackie 10 would have been nice but that build up i joined this year,(ferencvaros ended it,😊)


    .sad bassa that i am ah’ll be there next year




  26. Possibly an offer we couldn’t refuse.


    However I’m sorry to see Jeremie Fingpong leave. His potential is mega, with raw talent in abundance.



    He was one of the only players that could go by opposition players with ease.


    He was exciting to watch which is a rare commodity at Parkhead.


    He will be missed




  27. RIP Big Shuggie



    RIP Dr Jo



    Both were involved in great reults against them.


    4-2 game for Big Shuggie


    5-1 game for Dr Jo.



    Hail Hail lads

  28. Is it true that J Frimpong has said, if so any idea what his demands were?



    “I dreamed the dream but my demands haven’t been met, you’ll see what I mean”

  29. Lennon uses the OF term, I see it as a GIRUY to the support, he knows how we view it,don’t be kidded here.