Are Artur Boruc’s Blunders Catching Up with Him?

Ronaldo Assis de Moreira Analyst IIJanuary 11, 2009

2008 was a strange year for Celtic’s No. 1, Artur Boruc.

Having excelled with Poland at Euro 2008, the second half of the season saw the keeper embark on a steady decline of form, and following Boruc’s latest howler in the Scottish Cup yesterday, questions over the custodian’s ability to hold down the No. 1 spot at Parkhead have begun to surface.

Back in the summer, Boruc’s reputation was soaring after a string of stellar performances on the international stage. Boruc was praised for his command of his area, his handling and his distribution during Austria-Switzerland. He looked liked a world-class keeper. (Highlights of Boruc’s performances at Euro 2008 can be seen here.)

But in recent weeks, Boruc has proven himself to be anything but reliable.

Yesterday, the Polish international raced out of his box to try and clear a long ball forward, but his fresh air swipe allowed Colin McMenamin to nip in behind him and roll the ball into the empty net for a humiliating opener.

And as Boruc’s list of cock-ups continues to swell, doubts over the “Holy Goalie” gain further traction, as seen by Tom English’s criticism of Boruc in The Scotsman today.

English: “There was an error that gifted a chance to Kenny Miller in the 4-2 loss to Rangers, John Rankin’s squiggler and a blunder in Bratislava when playing for Poland. Perspective is required here, though. He saves Celtic more often than he costs them, that has to be remembered.

But there is a problem with him, for sure. He’s a world-class goalkeeper with a destructive streak. What happened here was outrageous for a player of his ability and Gordon Strachan admitted as much, after a little coaxing.”

Boruc’s recent calamities can be seen here:

1. The squiggler

2. The blunder in Bratislava

3. Yesterday’s howler against Dundee