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. so you just spend over £5m on a goalie who can’t make a save , then you try to coach him how to make one , good idea.

  2. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    I’m not going to beat the club cause a promising young player wants to move on and progress his career. Hopefully we will make a healthy profit and reinvest in the team once the environment is right and future uncertainty is addressed.

  3. 31003 – from last thread – thanks! Very much amateur and nothing I wrote up was anything folk couldn’t find from Google. I’m sure someone like Celticbynumbers could do something with WyScout and data, etc

  4. MADMITCH on 26TH JANUARY 2021 1:59 PM


    Does NL have a player development bonus in it?





    Might be why he is hanging around like a bad smell.






    Bonus payment provisions are irrelevant if he resigns.



    He’s still in post because the board haven’t removed him.

  5. !!BADA BING!! on 26TH JANUARY 2021 2:01 PM


    C40- I get that,but did we try to keep him? Or did he just want out?



    We don’t know do we. I think you might get your head turned if you were him though

  6. Johannes Edvaldsson’s daughter said nobody from the Club has been in touch, and they knew weeks ago he was unwell…..but Happy Birthday Brendan…



    I’m not going to beat the club cause a promising young player wants to move on and progress his career. Hopefully we will make a healthy profit and reinvest in the team once the environment is right and future uncertainty is addressed.








    How did the heated driveway deal with the cold spell?

  8. Not surprised by Frimpong leaving,the treatment he received by journeymen in Scotland,with no protection by officials,would make his mind up to leave.


    The standard of football in Scotland is horrendous,any player with ambition would want to move on.


    Does Health & Safety exist in Scottish Football ?

  9. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    ‘Oh my days’ came in to my head when watching Frimpong last season.



    ‘Oh my god’ came in to my head when watching him this season.



    Good riddance and hopefully the first of many.

  10. glendalystonsils on

    MADMITCH on 26TH JANUARY 2021 1:59 PM


    Does NL have a player development bonus in it?



    Develop ..ha ha ha heehee ….ment Ho ho ho hahaaa …bonus…hawhawhawhaw haha’


    …stop it , my aching sides!

  11. Frimpong will be the first of many deserting a sinking ship.



    They see a ship that is rudderless, there is no vision from inside Celtic Park from Directors to management.



    Thee wee man (who I am critical of for not using that pace as often as he should) will be so disillusioned and he will not see any improvement in his development or our clubs progress/regression.



    Then you will have the old “we have to sell to balance the books) pish from the club, well why is that I ask is that because the management team and you Mr Liewell have failed us miserably?






    D :)

  12. glendalystonsils on

    Maybe somebody tipped Jeremie off that referees in Germany don’t allow opponents to kick you up and down the park .

  13. RC on 26TH JANUARY 2021 2:17 PM


    ‘any player and I mean any player who doesn’t want to be here , can get to.’







    Would that not rather depend on why they don’t want to be here?

  14. Saint Stivs – I canny wait to see the Tic the morra night. ::))))))))



    Seriously I cannot.



    D :)

  15. onenightinlisbon on

    Young Frimpong can look forward to his “Happy Birthday” tweet from the club when it arrives.

  16. If Frimpong goes and Elhamed wants to return home, who is playing RB? Ralston.



    Some interesting comments on BR v Neil.



    I have to say, I think BR gets a raw deal. Many on here look back at his time without any perspective.



    On transfers- circa £30m spent of which around £20m of so was on 4 players (Eddy, Sinclair, Ntcham and Eboue). Of them i could only class Eboue as a failure (Ntcham was good during BR’s tenure and was linked with some quality clubs); in Eboue’s defence he had to compete with a then imperious Broony and had both a serious knee injury and malaria during his stint with us.



    The other signings of which there were many can be clumped together into roughly a £10m signing pot. You’d be lucky if the average signing fee was £1m.



    I find it hard to critique a manager’s signing when they cost less than or equivalent to the basic wage of our CEO.




    On performances. The last year of BR’s tenure was poor but then again: we lost each of Dembele, Armstrong and Paddy and didn’t adequately replace them. Griff, when he was around, was unfit and ineffective and then missed the season due to his mental health issues and Sinclair’s form inexplicably dropped off a cliff.



    The front 4 who horsed Sevco 5-1 (Griff, Sinclair, Armstrong and Paddy were either physicaly gone or gone in spirit). KT was crocked and instead of buying a decent replacement to alleviate the burden we got Izzy back in.



    I remember seeing a stat that we lost 50 goals/assists without replacing them. Unsurprising that our form hit a cliff and that we rocked up to Ibrox crawling towards the winter break with Callum at LB and MJ (around 14 years old then) up front.



    Europe- 2 CLs out of 3 and 2 post-Christmas appearances is not bad.



    BR was an idealogue and that was his downfall. Pragmatic football should have been the order of the day in Europe but BR had his vision and it did result in some absolute maulings. Still, it’s one thing to be mauled by Barca, PSG or Bayern, it’s another to be mauled by Cluj or Sparta Prague.



    Come back BR, all is forgiven…

  17. EL @ 2.09



    Not sure about that.


    Depends if there are are any sunset clauses involved?



    If NL was in charge when he was bought and he is in charge when he is sold — at a profit.


    Then if NL has a player development bonus/ incentive sheme in play then he has a claim.



    Only issue would be if the bonus is only paid out at the season’s end if NL was still with the club.


    However if he is put on notice by us then he would still get the money.



    Another reason why he does not want to leave.

  18. So we will be back to either Ajer at RB or Ralston.



    If we go some games with Ralston and move Ajer in 1 then we could have a player (Ralston) who was our 3rd or 4th choice RB a couple of years ago and Hazzard who was 4th choice keeper.



    So no player is getting any development just a matter of elimination. :)



    D :)

  19. Why would anyone hold it against a 20 year old wanting to leave for a champions league Bundesliga team. If it is Leverkusen he’s going to a team that absolutely schooled the mighty gers over two legs last season.



    A great move for a seemingly very good lad.

  20. Frimpong going makes the summer rebuild even harder – we’re potentially going to only have Welsh, Taylor and Bolingoli available:



    Julien has packed it in and was touting for a move in summer;


    ElHamed is homesick;


    Ajer wants to go;


    Bitton does too;


    plus DUFFY and Laxalt will return to thier parent teams and


    Oostende look like they will take up the option to buy Hendry.



    A shocking state of affairs – major rebuild of the defence needed and with the current paralysis no opportunity to get some Bosmans sorted out!

  21. David66


    I thought Ralston was as good as anyone has been, at RB v Livi.


    He is way short of match fitness and a bit of confidence.


    I prefer Ajer at CB as well but that’s just me.

  22. Ralston I had hopes for, but he is so one paced, and, it isnt even medium pace that he would get destroyed regularly, sorry I see no future for Anthony at Celtic.

  23. Markiebhoy – I don’t think Ralston is Celtic class.



    But in this climate he will get his chance.



    The point I was making is that guys that were so far out of the picture are now in our 1st team or they could be but hey that’s squads for you.


    We should have a better team and squad.


    I also don’t see any development of any players only regression.



    D :)

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