CQN highlighted Celtic’s No.1 problem last month with a sequence of images that emphasised Vasilis Barkas’ lack of awareness when he allowed Michail Antonio far too much space at his right-hand post to score West Ham’s second goal on their way to a 6-2 win in the friendly at Parkhead.
The Greek’s positioning was horrendous for someone who cost the club £4.5million when he arrived from AEK Athens the previous summer. The CQN pictures proved conclusively how he got his angles so inexplicably wrong.
The game against Davie Moyes’ outfit came only days after Barkas had completely misjudged a free-kick to allow FC Midtjylland their equaliser in the 1-1 draw of the Champions League qualifier in Glasgow. It became a very expensive howler as the Hoops, with Scott Bain in goal, lost 2-1 in extra-time in Denmark to exit Europe’s elite money-spinning competition.
I’M IN CHARGE…Joe Hart shouts out instructions.
Ange Postecoglou reacted by signing 34-year-old former England international Joe Hart in a £1million switch from Spurs.
The netminder has played a mere three games, so it is far too early to discuss his qualities considering he didn’t perform in a solitary English top-flight league match last season for the Londoners after joining on a free from Burnley the previous year. The ex-Manchester City No.1, however, did make 10 appearances in other competitions.
He was a virtual spectator on his debut in the east end of Glasgow on Sunday when Kyogo Furuhashi, with a hat-trick, and his team-mates ran amok in the 6-0 triumph over demoralised Dundee.
However, Hart had two opportunities against Jablonec last night to showcase his shotstopping talent and he did not fail as he kept a second successive clean sheet in Paradise.
Here is the sequence of images that display his first save from Martin Dolezal who had been set up with a golden opportunity of pulling a goal back following an uncharacteristic wayward pass from captain Callum McGregor.
ONE…the Jablonec striker prepares to pull the trigger while Joe Hart stands up tall.
TWO…Joe Hart instinctively raises both hands as the ball flashes towards his net.
THREE…Joe Hart arcs backwards as the ball takes to the air.
FOUR…eyes on the ball as it is diverted off target.
FIVE…up, up and away from danger. Joe Hart hits the deck and Dolezal realises he has been thwarted.
HANDS UP…Joe Hart and Callum McGregor applaud the appreciative Celtic fans after the 3-0 success.