Postecoglou Preparing for Penalties – “Yeah, you prepare for everything”

Ange Postecoglou was in light-hearted form when asked, as reported in Daily Record, if the Celtic boss was practising penalties in training this week ahead of The Scottish League Cup Glasgow Derby at Hampden.

19th December 2021; Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland; Scottish League Cup final, Hibernian versus Celtic: Celtic Manager Angelos Postecoglou celebrates with the trophy

“No I don’t mate but the players do! “Yeah, you prepare for everything.”

The thought of this one going to 120 minutes plus penalty kicks may not be a wanted outcome for any Celtic fan, particularly those of a nervous disposition, but Celtic have a few in their ranks who could well step up confidently. And it is certainly good to hear every eventuality has been covered by Postecoglou in the build-up to this one.

With Josip Juranovic and Giorgis Giakoumakis both having left the club in the January transfer window, and both having patchy -if not rotten, in the case of Giakoumakis – records from 12 yards, Aaron Mooy has offered Celtic fans a modicum of confidence with his perfect record from the spot in recent weeks.

 Reo Hatate celebrates scoring the opening goal with team mate Aaron Mooy during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and St. Johnstone FC at on December 24, 2022 . (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Meanwhile Reo Hatate has also netted from 12 yards against St Mirren in the Scottish Cup, whilst Jota looked all set to show us his penalty prowess, until VAR over-ruled Willie Collum’s awarding of the Hoops a penalty against Aberdeen last weekend.

It’s difficult to judge whether practising penalties can really impact on a penalty-shoot out situation. After all, can you really replicate the nerves and tension of stepping up in front of 52,000 fans, or the 120 minutes the legs on a heavy Hampden pitch have played prior to stepping up to the spot? But at the very least you can practice your technique and you can be prepared for facing the goalkeeper if you’ve done your homework prior to the game.

But let’s be honest no-one wants a final settled by anything other than the ‘normal’ – if that is ever a description for a game involving the team from across the city -course of 90 minutes, or 120 in the case of extra-time.

19th December 2021; Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland; Scottish League Cup final, Hibernian versus Celtic: Callum McGregor of Celtic with the trophy

And if Ange Postecoglou’s side are able to maintain the goalscoring form they have been in over recent weeks, the only real issue regarding penalties will be James Tavernier keeping up his quota – and with a hand-picked Blue Control room staunchly in place we can certainly expect that to particular eventuality to occur.

However Celtic should have too much for this theRangers team on Sunday, and if that’s the case Celtic could and should win this with a couple of goals to spare, thankfully negating the need for any extra-time, or God forbid a penalty-shoot out. And saving the NHS Cardiology staff across Scotland making a series of claims for weekend overtime.

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.

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