Down goes Fraser

Unless any of us were involved in the process, no one really knows the backroom negotiations which prevented Fraser Forster from rejoining Celtic. But if the player had the will to return, he would have made it work. Apparently he didn’t, and now instead of competing for a starting position with Southampton, he’s riding the pine — as we say here in baseball parlance — if not out-and-out another loanee to a club with, let’s just say, less historical significance than the Hoops.

Regrets? I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention . . . .

Clearly in Celtic, Fraser Forster had a worldwide fan base which adored him for his fantastic play between the posts last season. No one could have matched his play all season — the saves against Lazio, blocking the penalty against Rangers, or any other of a plethora of awe-inspiring play by The Wall. He endeared himself to Celtic followers everywhere, and most players would have jumped at the chance to continue, especially now that Celtic is on the cusp of history.

Which is why it such a sticking point for many of us. I thought for sure he’d be back, and the delay was just a matter of crossing T’s and dotting I’s in the paperwork.

After all, in public, he said he wanted to stay. We wanted him to stay. I am not a professional athlete, so I don’t know how exactly this works. However, I am a human being with free will, and I would gather that so is Fraser Forster. As such, I don’t know how hard it would have been for the big man to realize he is a hero to fans who would crawl over miles of broken glass to watch him play — and tell his agent, “I want to play for Celtic. Make the deal.”

But that didn’t happen. Ultimately, he chose Southampton.

This week, according to Southampton gaffer Ralph Hasenhuttl, the Saints are going with Alex McCarthy in goal as their number one, and either Forster or Angus Gunn will be loaned out this season. Whomever stays will be number 2, and I’d be willing to bet it’s Forster.

This decision is nothing short of tragic, both for Celtic fans and, more importantly, Forster himself. He surrendered the chance to become a part of Celtic history; he would have been spoken about years, and decades, from now with the same awe and reverence as other historic Bhoys in the Celtic pantheon as the keeper who brought us both the 9 and the 10.

So now, in Celtic circles, he’ll merely be remembered as, “Fraser Forster — yeah, he played great for us that season where we got 9 in a row. Then he went back to Southampton for the money.”

Forster traded a sure-fire legacy so he could be loaned to some backwater like Ipswich or Reading or Wrexham or wherever. Oh, he’ll play fantastically, because he’s good, but as good as it might be, it won’t be historic.

In the grand scheme of things, his next loan spell probably won’t even be remembered. But you can still deposit the checks, Fraser.

And that’s the greatest tragedy of all — football, in its essence, should be more than just a job for those blessed with the talent and skill to play professionally. And Celtic will get by, and even thrive, with Vasilis Barkas, Scott Bain, and Conor Hazard.

Let me be clear: My sincerest hope is that Fraser Forster is successful wherever he ends up this season. However, to say I am heartbroken — along with thousants of Celtic fans — that he chose poorly is a massive understatement.

But life goes on. We have Ross County on Saturday. Mon the Hoops!

4 thoughts on “Down goes Fraser”

  1. Another great piece Larry,at the end of the day, think the Wa’ thought his big game performances would make him first choice at Southamton,and possible selection for engerlund, forgetting he got his first engerlund cap when he played for Celtic first time around! Hail Hail Larry and stay safe!

  2. Brilliant and yep, you say what we feel, on a personal it’s never easy losing something, someone, but life has to go on and we have have to make choices and we have made the right choice, to do otherwise would not be fair on two goalkeepers who are on our books, it would not be fair to let someone, whom we adored, walk in and take over the gloves, to allow this to happen, we would have lost two goalkeepers, who would want to be a goalkeeper who is just cast aside and expected to be at the beckon call on a whim. We have two keepers, we need another one, a young keeper who will work and learn with the two we have, Sorry Fraser but the Celtic bus waits for no-one we move on to the next station which is the ten.

  3. Nice piece and great sentiment, but life goes on for Forster as it does for us all.

    He has shown his true motivation for playing professional football, and it would appear that it’s NOT the on field success, the honours and medals, anazing European night atmospheres or the adulation of hundreds of thousands of supporters calling out his name.

    It would appear that MONEY is his God, and he seems to be prepared to accept mediocrity over the chance of making history and being remembered alongside the likes of the Lisbon Lions or other Celtic greats for the chance to maximise his Bank balance.

    In today’s climate of English and other top European leagues being awash with cash, players earning in a single week what many of us couldn’t hope to earn in a year, you need to ask how much money do these guys actually need? It’s not as though he was reduced to having to claim Social Security benefit or whatever pittance Government’s hand out to those unable or unwilling to work.
    He would have been on a massive weekly wage at Celtic, and had he remained here would have been again. But like so many before him, he grabbed Southampton’s big bucks and faded away, alongside the likes of Stuart Armstrong and Victor Wanyama.
    Virgil Van Dijk followed the same well trodden path to England’s South Coast, but at least he has realised his full potential and got a massive move to Liverpool.
    In fairness to Wanyama, he got a move to Spurs, but then stagnated there and lost his way.
    So there we have it. Greed and money are more important to most of these guys than on field achievements, being included in History books, fan adulation, or professional success and recognition.

    Just to show that I bear no bad feeling towards Mr Forster I wish him every success in his future career, wherever that may be, and hope that he doesn’t get to many skelves in his butt cheeks as his arse polishes the sub’s bench if he remains at Southampton.

    HH

  4. I think frazer foster made a big mistake he should have stayed with celtic and maybe got sold to them or someother team that may have wanted him he must have non he would have no chance in being number one for Southampton but for the life of me I can’t no the reason why they don’t want to play him agen why buy players if they have no interest in playing them at all I feal football clubs should think before they buy players in the first place and then see if they want to have the room and the place to play them at all frazer I am afraid you will be on the bench and not get the chance to play like you did for celtic and you now blowin it now celtic bot a gole keeper who is crap and maybe he did not get uesd by his last club and now he is very rusty and is not able to cope well in the job celtic should have gone for someone that had bean played often to keep doing the job well in my opinion so hear my thoughts frazer made a mistake and celtic is left with a unfit gole keeper and on top of that they sold crag Gordon to at lest he was a lot better than the one the bot what a mess

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