Bernabei has already staked a claim for a first team jersey

A 7-0 friendly thumping of an Austrian third tier side may not tell us much about the defensive capabilities of our central defenders and full backs as we move in to a new season, but in terms of their attacking capabilities, one player in particular stood out in Celtic’s back four against SC Wiener Viktoria yesterday evening.

Alexandro Berrnabei hasn’t had long to get to know his new teammates, as such he was a surprising inclusion in the Celtic side that started the game last night, and he certainly looked keen to make an impression.

It’s fair to say the left back, at 5ft7, may have more ariel threats to deal with in Scottish football in the weeks and months ahead, but for Celtic it will be all about what he can do when the ball is at his feet for the most part, and to that end Bernabei certainly had an impressive 45 minutes.

The summer signing from Lanus looked very comfortable in possession, and when receiving passes, he looked to have an assured first touch. Bernabei also linked well on the left side with the equally impressive Mikey Johnston, and he didn’t miss an opportunity to take up attacking positions, being somewhat unlucky not to score with a chance that fizzed past the post.

There wasn’t much defensive work in his own half the left back had to contend with, but when he did, he was committed in the tackle, and when breaking from contact looked to get the head up and move forward immediately. Meanwhile when possession was lost in higher areas of the pitch there was a willing intent to win back possession quickly, all traits the manager would look for in his full backs.

And it appears Ange Postecoglou as reported in the Daily Record, was happy with Bernabei’s contribution last night, as the Celtic boss praised the new signing’s attitude, energy and ambition –

“He has come in and it has been a massive change for him. “We are not putting too high an expectation on him. “It is about understanding the environment, getting to know the boys and the way they play. “He has got a great attitude and already you can see that. “He has taken on a lot of information and that is a key sign for us. “For him it is good to get that first game under his belt.”

“Like all the players we bring in he has good energy, is ambitious and he wants to carve out a career for himself in Europe. “He has some good attributes which we look at for his profile and position. “Then it comes down to how they adapt here, their attitude and everything has been excellent so far.”

As far as first impressions go Alexandro Bernabei certainly made a favourable one last night, and it will be interesting to see how he copes defensively when he faces what will prove to be a stiffer task against Rapid Vienna on Saturday evening.

However, after only 45 minutes of football, Bernabei has already staked a claim for a first team jersey, and when you consider Daizen Maeda will likely be the player operating in front of the young Argentinian when the real stuff kicks off, the pace on Celtic’s left flank will be enough to give Scottish defences sleepless nights and torrid afternoons in the season ahead. It promises to be quite a partnership to watch develop.

Niall J

About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

1 Comment

  1. Seriously? That team were rank rotten. Nobody can make judgements on anyone based on that game.