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. No the thing is, you have to look at what Ronny Deila said he inherited when took over Celtic; a total mess of unprofessionalism, lax discipline and basic unfitness. Bolton’s medical people said something similar when Lennon left them if my memory serves me right.



    Between Ronny and Rodgers they brought with them a set of standards and a level of professionalism we’d never seen at Parkhead before. Some rebelled against it; Ronny didn’t have the gravitas and perhaps not even the authority to deal with them as they deserved.



    Rodgers made an example outo of one early and shipped him out of the club. Another he left to rot in the reserves when he was a handful of games short of 100 goals.



    Ruthless. But the message it sent was unmistakable.



    Everyone left go on board the bus pretty damned sharpish and you saw the results. Ronny started the revolution in thinking, Rodgers just amped it up.



    It’s taken a while to fall from those standards and those heights … but we’re back almost to where we were when Deila took over now, and if some of th rumours out there are to be believed we’re heading for a drastic and dangerous level of decline.



    It wasn’t inevitable; all we needed to do was hire a manager who would have continued taking the club forward in the key areas where Ronny and Rodgers started the work. Those photos of Lennon and Brown sitting supping pints in Dubai were notable for more than just the lack of social distancing.



    They are symbolic of where we are and where we’re heading.

  2. Pretty Normal







    John Collins addresses claim he was fitter than some Celtic players during his stint as assistant



    Ronny Deila previously said that Collins was in better shape than some first team stars at the Parkhead club




    John Collins has responded to a claim he was fitter than some players at Celtic during his time as Parkhead assistant.



    Former Hoops boss Ronny Delia said that his No2 was in better shape than a number of first-team stars when they first arrived at the club in 2014.



    In 2017 told Footballklubben that he was surprised at the “fat percentage” readings he saw during pre-season, and his players lost a combined weight of nine and a half stone during his first six months at the club.



    He added: “John Collins had a very European mind-set when it came to fitness, having played at Monaco.



    “He was fitter – at almost 50 – than some of the players in the squad when I arrived.”



    Collins, however, laughed off the suggestion and said Delia was just making the point that some of his squad arrived back at training carrying a few extra kilos from the summer break.



    He told the BBC Sportsound podcast: “I don’t think Ronny meant that literally, what he said. I don’t know how the question was put to Ronny. What he thought was, it was pre-season. You come in at pre-season. Some players love training through the summer, and there are certain players who put the kilos on fairly quickly, and haven’t got the discipline of others. So they eat a little bit, drink a little bit and come back a few kilos overweight.




    “In fairness it’s pretty normal. In pre-season players come back at different levels. You’ve got to deal with it as a manager. Ideally you’d want them all to come back in tip-top condition, but that’s not reality I’m afraid.



    “Ronny had to deal with that, but that’s part and parcel of being a manager and coach. Getting your pre-season right and trying to keep them all injury free and getting them fit for the big games.”




  3. James Forrest


    Yes then compound the problem with the first lockdown and I think you can guess what the club with less


    discipline were up to.


    From January to lockdown our record was P10 W9 D1 ( at Livi on plastic )


    Their record was P11 W5 D2 L3.


    They seem to have used the lockdown to some advantage.

  4. Of course it might help if, barring injuries, we had something resembling a settled defence, goalkeeper included, and then we could maybe think of organising and coaching them how to defend as a unit, and how to set up the midfield to complement this system. Or then again maybe not, leave it to Stevie Woods to sort out.

  5. Neil Lennon says Jeremy Frimpong is on his way out of Celtic. He’s abroad speaking to a club. “He made it clear to wanted to leave”




    Except – and there was so much I didn’t get to cover on the anti-doping piece the other day – during lockdown there was also no random drug testing, so teams which wanted to get an extra edge could have pretty much done whatever they liked over that time and much of the summer. Just saying ;)



    Saint Stivis:



    Except one. He lacked the dressing room authority to fully realise his ideas, which is why we need someone with a reputation and some heft to take over next. Good ideas aren’t enough without dressing room gravitas. And being everybody’s mate is useless if it leads to this kind of disastrous campaign.

  7. Police cars revolving light Presser UpdatePolice cars revolving light



    We have




    at today’s presser and on Frimpong – Lennon confirms



    – Frimpong “abroad at the minute”


    – “Deal may go through”


    – “In the background for last six or seven weeks”


    – Other players have expressed an interest to leave


    – Doesn’t expect many to go

  8. JAMES FORREST on 26TH JANUARY 2021 12:46 PM



    You’re ignoring his previous time at Celtic and his spell at hibs. His final season at Celtic yielded more league goals and points than any of the others



    Celtic by numbers, by his own admission no fan, has pointed out that our performances were actually still improving up to the start of this season. The decline was rapid, not gradual.

  9. I know Gary Neville is already a failed manager, but the tactical knowledge he displays on Sky makes me think there’s a good manager/coach in there somewhere. Maybe he’s a rotten man manager, maybe he’s weak, I’m not sure, but I think he could do someone a decent job, if not as a “manager” but maybe a good No 2

  10. Deila was appointed manager of Scottish Premiership club Celtic on 6 June 2014.[10][11][1][2] He signed a 12-month rolling contract with the club, describing his appointment as a “magnificent honour” before stating his desire to deliver “attacking, exciting and entertaining football.”[11] Eleven days later, former Celtic and Scotland midfielder John Collins was appointed assistant manager. Deila described Collins as a “first-class coach” and stated that he “has ideas on football which are very similar to mine so I am sure he will be a great addition to my team.”[12]

  11. Neil Lennon says Jeremy Frimpong is on his way out of Celtic. He’s abroad speaking to a club. “He made it clear to wanted to leave”

  12. BR had an outstandind time domestically for 18months, then due to him boasting in interviews how we played and set up teams started to counter that and set up to counter it, the football in his last season was poor in my opinion and Sevco also had us sussed as well due to his boasting.He did improve players already on the staff but his signing were largely rubbish.


    The results in Europe under BR were not good either and he seemed to leave us exposed and we suffered severe beatings from PSG in particular. He would not try to make us hard to beat maybe he only wanted to play one way but we didnt have the players to deal with losing the ball leaving us exposed, his present team are very fit quick, he signed a couple of players we were linked with, but are over reliant on Vardy.


    NL should be nowhere near Celtic Park as Manager of the first team, he appears not be be a development coach, has no eye for a player or be into fitness conditioning and team systems.He does know Glasgow the club and the fans.


    I have no idea how we change this , so much is seemingly needing done on the football side, but if the board continue with the same philosophy buy low develop and sell high we are going nowhere, Lawwell will continue to dominate and the club will flounder as the fans walk, we will go from a 100million turnover club in a CL year to 50 million or much less depending on ticket sales, no doubt the salary and the bonus of PL will not reduce accordingly . Perish the thought.



    Lets wait and see what this board has planned, I am not optimistic at all if they even see what needs doing.

  13. My guess :0…………is that we’ll settle down a wee bit……….regardless of Neil’s input or lack thereof….we have some decent players that when assembled coherently should address some of the off-pitch calamities with on-pitch performances that will see us claw back some of the deficit………



    Again, by season’s end we’ll look back and be even more scunnered at how our poor start was compounded by forces not entirely of our own making.




  14. Sky Sports Scotland













    Neil Lennon confirms Celtic defender Jeremie Frimpong is “abroad” speaking to a club about a permanent transfer



    “We received a really robust offer for him, we are disappointed to lose him but that’s football”

  15. James Forrest


    Nothing would surprise me in modern football.


    You could hardly help but notice a pattern in the


    number of goals scored in Deadco games.


    I believe that betting is not checked up here?

  16. saint stivs



    I personally do not see what is wrong with getting boozed up followed by a late night kebab.


    I mean, what’s the problem?




  17. JAMES FORREST on 26TH JANUARY 2021 12:59 PM


    No the thing is, you have to look at what Ronny Deila said he inherited when took over Celtic; a total mess of unprofessionalism, lax discipline and basic unfitness.



    That’s just not true. He inherited a team that had just won 99 points and 102 goals

  18. “Lennon the Man IS a hero of mine and he will be from now until the end of time.”



    On the day he resigned

  19. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Really didn’t see the need to replace Craig Gordon. Of all the positions that needed attention goalkeeper was well down the list.


    Top pro too. A guy with high standards. Setting an example for others to follow.


    When we had already lost Tierney and let Lustig go, losing another dressing room leader was just crazy.


    Then again, compared with some of the other decisions taken in the last two and a half years…….

  20. How come Delia, with the improved standards in fitness and professionalism wasn’t able to match Lenny’s record?



    Lenny really was some sort of miracle worker, a net spend of -30m, a lower wage bill than Deila, a mess of a squad and all those achievements

  21. HOT SMOKED on 26TH JANUARY 2021 12:40 PM



    If you think back to BTM’s start as Celtic manager you might get an inkling.



    Sparkling stuff pre season and then almost overnight a complete collapse of form.



    Like he’d hear or seen something that caused him to lose all interest and enthusiasm.

  22. JF going at least means we wont get confused when MM types that JF is better than the other JF.



    Enigmacode csc

  23. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Will be interested to discover what constitutes a “really robust offer”.



    FWIW – if he wants to leave, shame but hey ho and good luck kid.



    BTW – having a genuine senior moment and cannot recall the name of that injured German centre back BR signed.



    Can anyone remind me?



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  24. We should have,in my opinion,used Frimpong as a winger only,if as quoted he wanted away,then we are better off without him.


    Seemed happy enough so why did he want to go that for me is the question


    Whatever we get will compensate in part for millions wasted on non contributors, Klimala,Adjeti Bayo,Barkas,and others I can no longer remember.


    Poor situation.

  25. Latest piece without the link. Might as well have called it Lennonites FIddle Whilst Celtic Burns.






    Neil Lennon has confirmed rumours that Jeremie Frimpong is abroad right now talking to another club ahead of a move out of Parkhead. That story was broken online by the guys at The Scottish Football Monitor earlier, and their head boy deserves credit for sticking to his guns when he was getting criticised for it. This is where are right now.



    This is the start of the breakup of the whole squad, whilst the manager remains in post.



    Lennon himself was quite blasé about this;



    “He wanted to leave,” he said. Which a lot of our current squad does, so perhaps this isn’t the last sale we’re going to see.



    Celtic is in complete collapse folks; we’re watching the total disintegration happening right in front of us.



    We’ve got a manager taking a press conference who should have been out of a job months ago, telling us how he’s releasing one of our most promising young players in a window where we’ve not even replaced a central defender who faces months on the side-lines.



    There is no plan, there are no standards, there is no point in hoping for anything like that now.



    We have chucked it, every single person at Celtic Park.



    “The player is ambitious,” says Lennon as if that’s an excuse, and you know what?



    The player sees the writing on the wall.



    Because it’s become clear that the leadership at the club has no ambition whatsoever, not even to save the tattered remnants of their own reputations. Every one of them has checked out. We are leaderless.



    Having given the player permission to depart on those grounds I don’t know how we’ll keep Edouard, Christie, McGregor, Ajer or anyone else who wants to go right now, and if I were in their shoes I’d be giving it serious thought.



    Indeed, Lennon has good as confirmed that it’s likely … “I don’t expect many to go,” he says.



    Yeah we’ll see if it’s “not many” and who they are.



    Words cannot adequately convey how absolutely sick I am of this club right now and everyone in it, from the joker masquerading as a football manager to those above his head who have mismanaged us into our darkest hours since 1994.



    Don’t think this is the end of it either.



    The club which assured fans that no key players would be sold in this window has brazenly lied to us about that; we should not be surprised if there are a few more going out the door before it shuts.



    What a goddamned shambles we are in.



    Total freefall now.

  26. A boy text me this morning saying Bayer Leverkusen for £10 million ….thought it was nonsense…Roma also quoted, Ajer could go as well

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