Sky Sports pundit and former Celtic striker, Andy Walker, has highlighted a major flaw as Neil Lennon looks to get his side back on track for 10-in-a-row.
Writing in his Sky column and reported by The Daily Record, Walker looks at the money that has been spent recently and suggests that the players’ quality and commitment is up for debate.
So what has Walker said?
When reflecting on the weekend’s result in which none of the new boys stepped up to the plate, he said:
“Vasilis Barkas was signed at a cost of £5m to take the coveted No 1 jersey from Fraser Forster, Scott Bain and Craig Gordon. He has still to show he’s better than any of his predecessors.
“All three who went before Barkas have made important saves at crucial points in big games for Celtic and I’ve yet to see the Greek goalkeeper make the type of save that keeps Celtic in a game or preserves their lead. He was at fault for Connor Goldson’s breakthrough goal.
“Another £8.5m has been spent on strikers Albian Ajeti and Patryk Klimala, who both played against Rangers. Even allowing for the poor service they received, it says everything that Celtic failed to hit the target even once in the 90 minutes.
“In fairness to Lennon and Celtic, this is a team that has bounced back really well from previous defeats. Losing to Rangers last December strengthened Celtic’s resolve to absorb the pain of that defeat and go on an unbeaten run.
“It’ll take something similar to get back on track this time round and I believe the results in the next few weeks will tell you all you need to know about the quality of this Celtic squad and the players’ commitment.”
So is Walker correct?
He certainly has a point, of all the new signings that have cost a significant outlay – and those on loan – none of them looked anywhere near the money that was paid for them, and worryingly, looked inferior to those they were in direct opposition with.
Are you happy with the summer transfers?
Barkas has yet to impress and having cost £4.5million, he really needs to start repaying that fee especially when the likes of Craig Gordon was allowed to leave, David Marshall was available for pennies and Scott Bain is waiting in the wings.
Celtic have as tough a run of fixtures as they could get coming up, away trips to Pittodrie, Fir Park and Easter road all interspersed with Europa League fixtures, as Walker rightly says, the next month could well define this season and the careers of many currently stealing a living in green and white.