Celtic legend Chris Sutton has criticised the club’s handling of their goalkeeping situation in the current season.
Sutton appeared on the latest episode of the Record Celtic podcast and the panel discussed multiple issues involving the Parkhead-based side. They talked about the different positions on the pitch that need addressing for Celtic and Sutton was asked for his take on the goalkeeping situation. Sutton believes that the club needs to take the blame for the instability in the goalkeeping department at Celtic.
Should Barkas be Celtic's regular goalkeeper?
In the current season, Celtic have used as many as three different goalkeepers under Neil Lennon – Vasilis Barkas, Conor Hazard and Scott Bain. The Hoops lost the experienced Craig Gordon in the summer transfer window and while they tried to sign Fraser Forster once again, the Englishman decided to stay at Southampton.
Sutton feels that the goalkeeping situation has been an ongoing uncertainty in the season and that is a clear area of concern for the Bhoys.
The former Hoops man said: “That’s an area where Celtic clearly need to hold their hands up – say they’ve got Barkas wrong but it’s been pinning the tail on the donkey for Neil Lennon in terms of goalkeeping selection.
“There has been uncertainty all season and we talk about it every season – Champions League qualifiers come around. Celtic are fortunate [that if] they finish [in] second place they’ll be in a Champions League qualifier, and they need to be ready. So that’s clearly an area of concern.”
TIF Thoughts on Celtic’s goalkeeping situation…
The Bhoys spent an initial fee of £2.95m to sign Barkas from AEK Athens in the summer but despite that, he has been given only 13 Premiership games while Bain has played 10 times. Hazard has been handed five appearances (as per WhoScored).
This is a very different scenario compared to the 2019/20 season as Forster had been the club’s chief goalkeeper in all competitions. Celtic conceded just 19 league goals in 30 games last season with the Southampton man between the sticks.
In the current season, though, they’ve already let in 22 goals. That might be a reflection of the fact that the goalkeeping situation needs a bit of attention and Lennon perhaps, should bring some stability to the department as soon as possible.