As the Daily Telegraph reported Spain’s media has labelled Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster ‘La Gran Muralla’ – THE GREAT WALL – after his resolute performance in Celtic’s incredible Champions League victory over Barcelona.
I like that description of big Fraser. We only see him from the stands but when you are a wee Spaniard trying to get the ball past him he must look like the side of proverbial brick ****house.
What confidence he must give our defence. Unlike Rab Douglas who was nicknamed “The Cat” not for his prowess between the sticks but more because he gave his defence kittens.
Yes there were other standout performances…my goodness many…many however for me La Gran Muralla’s was the best over both legs.
I had taped the Sky coverage and must say the studio pundits were the best collection for quite some time. But it did rankle me hearing Gary Neville asking just how long could we hold on to big Victor? The answer is as long as we want to before cashing in. He will be here for another season that I predict and even if his agent agitates for moving him on the boy is an honest professional who will want to play his best every game.
Another interesting assessment of the evening came from AS’s Alfredo Matilla who wrote of Barca’s style of football being dealt a hammer blow
“It was an enthralling fight between two different schools of football, similar to what has happened in the last few Clássicos. Neither team’s style of football is necessarily more dignified than the other’s: one is direct, the other more elaborate, but both can lead you to victory. There is one difference, however. Celtic’s style of football is primitive, but got them the result they wanted. Barcelona’s football is far more romantic and is the key to their recent success, and they do not want to renounce it.”
Of course to the purists we might have seemed primitive but let’s just consider this. We have dealt with the best team in world – TWICE and have beaten them. NL has proven he is a modern coach who has an eye for detail and an understanding of the micro tactics that are required to combat teams. What came out of the post match interviews was that the team was prepared and had practiced in training for every eventuality. Mark my words this squad is exceptional and is packed with athletes who listen and learn.
Lastly like PensionerBhoy I have witnessed all our great European nights. I was even lucky enough to be at Lisbon with my Dad and I can sincerely tell you this, last night gave me more pride.
Why? BECAUSE BARCELONA IS THE BEST TEAM IN THE WORLD AND WE BEAT THEM!!!