“At Celtic we should not go into games with anything to fear,” Moritz Jenz

Moritz Jenz held court at Celtic Park yesterday afternoon giving an entertaining media conference to both the mainstream and Celtic fan media as he was introduced as a Celtic player to both sections.

Paul Gillespie presented The Celtic Star and his report was published on the site last night.

The German defender signed for Celtic this week from French side Lorient on a season long loan deal, with Celtic having an option to buy at the end of the season. The defender, who can play either on the right or the left hand side of the back four, was a target for Ange Postecoglou last July but despite the player wanting to come to Celtic, the deal didn’t happen and he signed for the French side.

That might not have gone as well as the former Fulham Academy star would have liked but he did see enough action and played against some top stars in the game to give him the necessary confidence for what is ahead at Celtic, particularly in the Champions League. We’ll know in 25 August which bunch of superstars we’ll be up against when the draw is made.

 Lionel Messi of Barcelona looks thoughtful during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Liverpool and Barcelona at Anfield on May 07, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Jenz remembers coming up against Messi at PSG in December and reckons it doesn’t get much tough than that. “I remember that game against PSG because it was just before Christmas. I thought, ‘They’re not going to have all their superstars, it’s going to be OK’, the New Celtic signing said.

“But then they showed the teamsheet and they had a lot of their big players with them. You get excited because these are the people you have been watching since you were small.

“They are the top guys at the top level, but by the warm-up you just forget. You don’t care who is next to you, whether it’s Sergio Ramos or Messi. On the football field we are all even. Maybe they have much better qualities but if you work hard and make it difficult you have a chance. You just focus.

“Messi was fantastic. For me he’s the greatest player. It’s impossible to man mark him because he knows exactly where to be between the players. He gets the ball every time and you can’t get close to him. So you learn more things about how to organise, how to be tougher and make it quite nasty.

Moritz Jenz clearly is well informed regarding the way Celtic play, and what is expected of the players in every competitive game that is played – we’re all prepared to give the team a pass on losing winning positions in the pre-season trips to Rapid Vienna and Media Warsaw and last Saturday against Blackburn Rovers at Celtic Park. it would be nice to get a win against Norwich City this afternoon in the final match before the real stuff begins next Sunday against Aberdeen in Celtic’s Scottish Premiership opener at Flag Day in Paradise.

“At Celtic we should not go into games with anything to fear. If you see Celtic in the league they are very brave. They play attacking football, possession football.

“Last year in Europe, Celtic played Bayer Leverkusen and they were brave. They could have won the game out there. You have to have the mentality to be brave and proud and go for it, 100 per cent.

“At Lorient the target is to stay in the league and finish in a good position in their eyes. At Celtic you have to win, you have to win trophies, you have to be first. You cannot have a draw because a draw is a disaster. And a loss is even more of a disaster than that.

“It’s where you want to be as a player. If you want to become a top player you have to play on a level where you are always 100 per cent in a game.”

On his journey in the game Moritz Jenz’s story is one of determination, family sacrifice and achievement and he appears to be the kind of person who will handle the challenges of playing for a club like Celtic where the expectations are so high, comfortably enough.

“I grew up in the UK for a long time. It’s helpful if you go to a different country at a young age because your mind gets widened. You get used to things quite quickly abroad. In Scotland you speak English too, although you have your own accent.

“But it’s nice. I like to speak English because I’m more confident speaking the language as I grew up here. I’d played in Germany, then someone came up saying they were from Fulham and you get introduced to go to training in the academy. My parents came with me, so it was easy for me.

“For me, it was a decision that came quickly but for my family it was a hard decision. At the start it was difficult. You are young, you come to an English team and you are German. They get afraid you might take their place. That’s normal.

“At the beginning you don’t have many friends but afterwards you show your skills, people get closer to you and you get closer to them, so it’s easy. But it was also a benefit to the family to have a new start in a country where there are more opportunities to work and study. So it was good for the whole family.

“My dad likes football but my mother doesn’t! My father is from Bremen, so we used to go and see Werder Bremen train. They also play in green and white! Back then they had players like Diego and Naldo but unfortunately they are not so good nowadays. They are a big club and back then they were my favourite team.”

Moritz Jenz has international ambitions which he hopes can be realised playing at a huge club like Celtic and although playing for Germany would be his preference he is also eligible to play for Nigeria and that might be a more realistic option down the line.

“I would prefer Germany because that’s where I grew up. It’s a great country to play for and hopefully one day I can make a couple of appearances, then maybe a couple more. Who know after that? Perhaps play in a World Cup or a Euros.

“But I need to do my best for the club first. That is the most important thing and after that then we can talk about the national team. I have a better chance of getting there playing here because it’s such a big club.

“I worked on being two-footed as a kid because in the academy at Fulham they used to tell me it was good to have both feet. Then you can play both sides and it gives you more options to play. So I practiced to play with my left foot. My stronger side is my right.”

Watch the Moritz Jenz media conference below and this is followed by some comments from Celtic supporters on their first impressions of our new signing.

Some of the supporter feedback on this interview…

“Wish him every success with us. Seems like he is very happy to be here and a strong character.”

“Very well spoken and level headed … Sounds like he won’t be happy on the bench …He will hopefully be pushing Vickers and starfelt very hard for their place’s…also a long season should see plenty of him…All in all looks to be a very decent signing…HH”

“He has great anticipation when winning the ball…can read the game well and wins many balls because of it and breaks down the opponents play nicely.”

“Nice to see somebody with such genuine enthusiasm, rather than just pull out the stock answers. Best if luck to him.”

“Seems like a well rounded individual, sure he’ll be a great addition to our club!”

“Seems to be really happy to be a Bhoy. Have a feeling this lad might work out well for us.”

“Welcome to Celtic Jenz ..hope he settles in well and can help us sub Starfelt & Vickers cos unless they two are the cb pairing, I’m nervous about our back line a wee bit.”

“The more I’ve seen of him the more I like him. A ball carrying, forward thinking centre-half with height as well as a good level of concentration and decision making which is good because as much as I love Starfelt, he can be his own worse enemy with silly mistake. Jenz will be good competition for that LCB spot.”

“Comes across as a smart guy – it’d be great to see if that transfers to the pitch. Also hoping to see if he slots in as well as Matt O’Riley and others. All the best Moritz – looking forward to seeing what you bring to the team .”

“He seems buzzing to be here which is great.”

About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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