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’.
Midtjylland equalise through a howler from Barkas! 😮
"It's a horrendous mistake from the goalkeeper, I'm sorry." 🗣️
Celtic's goalkeeping concerns continue 😬 pic.twitter.com/aFxbJTc4dL
— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) July 20, 2021
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