Bad-bhoy goalkeeper Artur Boruc has been handed another life-line from Gordon Strachan after his unforgettable howler at the weekend against Hibs.
The troubled goalkeeper has been told that he won’t be axed as celtic’s No1 and furthermore, that he will be guarding the goalmouth in tonights vital European Group E clash with Spanish side Villarreal. The Park head pin-up was laughed at across the nation after his shocking display when he failed to reach the 45 yard punt by Hibs star John Ranking in the 2-0 defeat.
Claims that Boruc should be dropped as celtic’s main keeper have been circulating. However, Strachan completely dismissed the claims from former Celtic ace John Hartson, that he “should be dropped for his own good”. Further criticism came from another ex-Hoops star Jackie Dziekanowski, who said Boruc should go on a diet. Dziekanowski, the N02 man to Poland boss Leo Beenhakker, said ” He’s not in the physical condition he should be for an athlete at his level. He needs to stop partying and start dieting”.
Even after this slating, Strachan remains loyal to the blundering keeper, and has him picked out for tonights Group E clash with the Spaniards. At yesterdays pre-match media conference, the Hoops gaffer refused to talk about the Easter Road Howler and said: “Artur’s playing tomorrow and we’ll leave it at that. It wasn’t a tough decision”.
Boruc has apologised to his team-mates for his blundering error in the Easter Road defeat to Hibs, but already has his slot reserved in goals against the Spanish giants, Villarreal, in the last of celtic’s disappointing Champions League campaign. Celtic striker Scott Mcdonald hopes that the Polish ace will be back to normal and thinks that he will play at his best for the match ahead. The Australian striker said: ” Artur held his hands up and said sorry for his mistake. It’s all you can ask of him.
“Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s about how you react. I’m sure Artur will react in a positive way. I could miss a chance, then score a winner and it will all be forgotten about. But Artur can make four or five saves and everyone focuses on his mistakes . If you make a mistake in his position, it is always highlighted as more than a mistake by an outfield player.”
With the Hoops not doing so well in recent European ties, fans are only hoping that Boruc will be back to top form for their final European match. The Hoops haven’t won a single match in their last eight European ties ( the worst run in 46 seasons of continental competition). However, Villarreal’s Manuel Pellegrini enjoys his 50th European clash with 24 wins and seven losses. A record to be proud of compared to Celtic’s embarrassing string of European defeats.