Gannon appeared as a guest on the latest episode of the Record Celtic podcast and the panel discussed multiple issues involving the Bhoys. One talking point was the situation of summer signing Barkas. Gannon believes that the goalkeeper’s situation right now is ‘strange’, even though he’s not shanking back passes or chucking balls in to the back of the net.
Barkas had arrived at Celtic from AEK Athens in the summer transfer window, as the Hoops shelled out an initial fee of £2.95 million. Neil Lennon though, has recently criticised Barkas and said that he hasn’t done anything to merit a place in the club’s first team and he needs more time to get to grips with the demands of the Scottish Cup. He also urged him to develop physically (as per The Scottish Sun).
Has Barkas struggled to settle in Scotland?
Gannon believes that Barkas has struggled to settle into life in Scotland and it has been a difficult period in football anyway.
He said: “It’s such a strange one, because it’s not as if he’s chucking ball in the back of the net every week. He’s not shanking backpasses. He’s not doing all of that stuff. But he’s also not making any saves. I genuinely can’t recall a game-changing save he’s made all season, which is a bit weird for a goalkeeper, really. Everything that goes near him turns to goal. You’ve got to feel for the guy, he’s come across from Greece, it’s a very difficult time in the world, never mind the football. He’s maybe struggled to adapt to life in Scotland because he’s not been able to adapt to life Scotland.”
TIF Thoughts on Gannon’s comments on Barkas…
Barkas has made 20 appearances in all competitions this season, also playing in 13 Premiership games. In all competitions, he has managed to keep nine clean sheets for the Bhoys. For his performances, the Greek goalkeeper has picked up a rating of only 6.49/10, which may not be too terrible for a goalkeeper – but hardly overly impressive nonetheless.
So it is understandable why Lennon believes that the 26-year-old may not be ready to play regularly for Celtic. This is his first season in Scotland and it is easy to see why he would want more time to settle in. Since he cost Celtic quite a lot of money, they should give him a chance.