Mystery solved – Celtic’s unannounced new signing explained

Fran Alonso has admitted that the pain of dropping points against Hibs last weekend, despite dominating the match, drove him to work on his team’s clinical edge in training – and the results were immediate.

Two games later and 19 goals scored and none conceded was the reward for hard work on the training ground, as Celtic scored 12 in the Cup in midweek to defeat Edinburgh City, before following up with yesterday’s battering of a Patrick Thistle side who Alonso admitted to Celtic TV  were a well-drilled team and in recent times had conceded only once to theRangers and twice to Glasgow City.

“Last Sunday really hurt us – I thought we did enough to win the game but we didn’t, so we knew how important it was to be clinical and we worked on it and then we scored 19 in the next two games without conceding, so I’m very proud.

“Partick Thistle are a very well-drilled team who lost 1-0 to (the)Rangers and 2-0 to City so we knew we’d need to move the ball quickly and I thought we were outstanding. “It’s not easy to do what they did and I’m very happy.”

With five different scorers -and all from five different countries to boot – Olivia Chance, Charlie Wellings and Izzy Atkinson from the central areas certainly chipped in, however wingbacks Maria Olafsdottir Gros and Chloe Craig both also grabbed a brace, indeed Chloe Craig was unlucky not to grab a hat-trick when denied by an offside flag.

With striking options reduced following London Pollard, Kathleen McGovern and Rachel Donaldson all leaving the club and no replacements sought to date, a spread of goals around the squad will certainly be important should Fran decide not to address a supporting option for Charlie Wellings. Meanwhile Fran also pointed to criticism of his playing players out of position, offering his argument that players learn a great deal from playing outside their comfort zones.

“It worked very well. Sometimes we’ve been criticised for playing players out of position, but for me it’s not out of position – the important thing is to get the best out of each player individually, and players need to learn different roles. ‘They need to experience that to see what hurts opponents or how to play against that position.

“Craigy hasn’t played as a wingback a lot, but when she plays there she’s always positive for us, always scoring or getting an assist and she almost got a hat-trick and Maria was great over the other side, so it’s great because this year we knew we had to replace goals and they’re coming from everywhere.”

Thankfully Fran’s positional rotation didn’t extend to his goalkeeper, as Anna Vincenti came in as an unannounced signing and surprise starter for Sunday’s game with Thistle, after unforeseen circumstances led to the loss of both Chloe Logan and Rachael Johnstone.

“I was worried because we didn’t have a goalkeeper for today and finally we could reach Anna and we are delighted. She did a very good job – she didn’t have a lot to do but what she did have she did well.

“We were comfortable because we knew we had protection there and didn’t have to put an outfield player in goals. She had a good performance and we’re delighted to have a third keeper and I think she’s delighted to have her Celtic debut and a clean sheet.”

Next up for Celtic is a home tie next Sunday with rock bottom side Hamilton, a team who have already conceded 32 goals in just 13 games. With Fran Alonso’s Celtic side on this sort of goalscoring form you can imagine there will be a few sleepless nights ahead for that Hamilton defence.

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. Barry Ferguson says that he told his players to “get into Celtics faces”. ! I bet he did, but with his hands in ” a dig” position.! He was a thug and the team he manages are thugs.! They did those same tactics against Airdrie. And they are just another thug team, cheating their fans, as they only played because of the Celtic strip, of which most of them hate.!! As I have said many times it is the scum and thugs that support rangers, and play for other teams, that are out to injure Celtic players. And you can see them every week, out to injure Celtic players, and when Ferguson says get in their faces , everyone knows what he means!. What a midden. Aw but listen, c’ ere listen. It is the only word he knows, name, c’mere listen!! MIDDEN