FORMER Scotland striker Billy Dodds has delivered an astonishing snub to Celtic’s on-loan keeper Fraser Forster.
The much-travelled forward, who also had spells at Partick Thistle, Dundee United, St Johnstone and Aberdeen as well as four years at Ibrox, is now a media pundit and assembled his Team of the Season for the Daily Mail.
Forster has been exemplary for the Hoops since he returned on his temporary switch from Southampton and was Man of the Match when Neil Lennon’s side won the Betfred League Cup at Hampden in December.
The one-time England No.1 was unbeatable during an immaculate performance against Steven Gerrard’s Govan outfit and capped off a spectacular display with a penalty-kick save from Alfredo Morelos while 10-man Celts – with Jeremie Frimpong red-carded at the spot-kick incident – held on for their tenth successive domestic honour.
GOING…Fraser Forster moves to his right as Alfredo Morelos fires the ball goalwards.
GOING…Forster anticipates the direction of the Colombian’s penalty-kick.
GONE…Forster beats the effort to safety and Morelos’ hopes of glory – and a first goal against the Hoops – are obliterated.
Christopher Jullien sidefooted the only goal of the confrontation from a Ryan Christie left-wing free-kick delivery on the hour mark before referee Willie Collum awarded a penalty four minutes later.
Forster and his defensive cohorts had to hold out for over half-an-hour with six minutes of stoppage-time added at the national stadium on another momentous afternoon for the champions.
However, the skyscraper shotstopper’s defiant show was not enough to persuade Dodds to give him the nod for his line-up.
Instead, the gloves went to Aberdeen’s Joe Lewis who he insists is “the most impressive keeper in the country. Not many goalkeepers are made captain, but you can understand why Derek McInnes made that choice – Lewis is a leader.
“He has the height and presence, he comes and takes crosses. All keepers should be good shotstoppers, but he has made immense saves at Important times when the team has really him. And he has done it all season.”
THE CUP THAT CHEERS…Man-of-the-Match Fraser Forster shouts for joy as he holds aloft the League Cup.
The Celtic custodian, though, did get a mention among the nearly men. Dodds added: “Allan McGregor has been fine for Rangers, the same goes for Fraser Forster across the city. They’ve made saves when called upon, but they haven’t been worked as often as some of the other keepers in the league.
“Mark Gillespie deserves credit for helping Motherwell climb the table and I was also tempted by Vaclav Hladky at St Mirren.”
CQN understands a pundit cannot load up a selection made up merely from the team running away with the title for the ninth successive season and that could be the reason for Lewis pipping Forster.
To be fair to Dodds, he did name six Hoops in his line-up – Jeremie Frimpong, Callum McGregor, Scott Brown, Ryan Christie, James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard.
For the record, his eleven from heaven read: Lewis (Aberdeen); Frimpong (Celtic), Gallagher (Motherwell), Guthrie (Livingston), Barisic (Newco); McGregor and Brown (both Celtic); Boyle (Hibs), Christie and Forrest (both Celtic); Edouard (Celtic).