Freelance GK analyst John Harrison has mounted a defence of Vasilis Barkas on social media after conceding against Midtjylland on Tuesday evening. John specialises in statistical analysis, working with Goalkeeping Intelligence and Goalkeepers union.

Asked for his opinion on Celtic’s conceded goal on the night, Harrison takes issue with Premier Sports and Michael Stewart’s conclusion that the mistake was ‘horrendous’.

Writing on Twitter, John offered his opinion on what happened.

‘1. It’s not horrendous, the Gk would want to save it, but it’s whipped in fast & goes in off the post.

‘2. The GK makes the cardinal sin of trying to punch a swerving shot. GKs shouldn’t do this as punches have a smaller surface area + need to be moved to the ball.

‘They must be timed perfectly or you will miss the ball.

‘For swerving/curling fast shots the palms should be used to maximise surface area & reactivity to movement, hence maximise save probability.

‘Punching shots like this is always going to make it hard for the GK & you will often see them do this & punch too early/late & effectively move their hands out of the way of the ball.

‘I think I tweeted about this before during the #Euros when the CZE keeper did something similar.

‘The impact of an error can be horrendous without the error itself being horrendous.

‘For example the impact of Neuer’s poorly timed arm swing in the UCL final in 2012 allowed #Chelsea to win the UCL hence was horrendous for Bayern but the error itself wasn’t an awful mistake.’

Barkas is up against it. His poor from last season has left him with no margin for error at the start of this season. One game in and the fingers are being pointed. Celtic need a strong goalkeeper who might not do much in a game at all, but when they’re needed they need to be ready.

How many wins will be turned into draws and how many draws will be turned into losses this season if we don’t fix this fundamental issue?

John makes a valid point around the hysteria of the shot being called ‘horrendous’. In isolation, it could be seen as harsh, but with the whole picture from last season, I don’t think there’s many fans who would


  1. Be nice if, when you steal the result of someone else’s tweet, you provide some attribution when you use for these click bait articles.

    It’s simply good manners and good form. Thanks Alan (Celtic By Numbers)

  2. Of course it was horrendous…yer man even said he made the mistake of punching instead of palming….it looked to me that he attempted neither and cocked up badly

  3. I don’t care who John is he is wrong here and clearly defending the indefensible. any average keeper would have saved this shot and looking at it last night he does not appear to be trying to punch it at all. His hands were open and he simply missed it, not by much but he still missed it completely. He has made this mistake time and again. He is not a young keeper who is in experienced. He simply isn’t good enough. Celtic’s bid for ten began to falter with the failure to sign Forster, a keeper trusted by the defence. The three keepers we have are not good enough and Ange needs to either try to get Forster or his own guy. Ryan

  4. When can John check into Lennoxtown to pick up his XXXXXXXL gloves in time for West Aaaam…this Saturday, even barking barkas.s maw wouldn’t try to defend this Armless circus act

  5. Zeus Bigolo needs to return to the set of a 1980’s porn flick and give the gloves to another better with balls.

    • We knew Barkas was not a quality goalkeeper, Strachan and Kennedy new this, so why weren’t they telling ange this and the no 1 priority was to sign a decent goalie.

  6. His hands were wide open, there’s no way he’s trying to punch that ball. Is this fool his agent in disguise?

    Look, Barkas is obviously not a bad keeper being an international who played regularly. He would have been well scouted as we’d never have paid so much for him if there was any doubt he could do the job, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out for a player at a club and they need to move on to regain their mojo – just look at Teemu Pukki as an example. There have been many players who came to CP with big reputations who just couldn’t hack it for some strange reason. Does it make sense? No, but surely now the player can see it’s just not going to happen here?
    Punt him and get a new keeper – not Fraser Forster though, he’s had enough chances to be at CP but puts his over-inflated ego before all else.


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