“Brendan does not demand the same high press as Ange,” Bobby Peta
Celtic’s flying Dutchman Bobby Petta reckons that the Hoops may well have a better chance of picking up more points in the Champions League under Brendan Rodgers than they did under former manager Ange Postecoglou.
And Petta, a star in Martin O’Neill exciting Celtic side from the start of the century, has pinpointed the reason Celtic lost so many late goals in last season’s campaign which probably deserved much more that the two points his old club ended up with.
Brendan Rodgers could of course better that total tomorrow night in Rotterdam against Dutch champions Feyenoord, who scored six on Saturday on the eve of the visit from the Scottish Champions. And after PSV’s hammering of theRangers in the Champions League Play-off Celtic’s chances appear to have been written off in the Netherlands – and maybe that will work in our favour. Speaking to Sunday Post (print edition, Sunday 17 September), Petta assessed the Champions League Group E opener at De Kuip in Rotterdam and pinpointed where he reckons Celtic can benefit, with a strong emphasis on the Hoops being strong at the back.
“I’d prefer to see Feyenoord having to work really hard for any goals they may score rather than being given gifts. So, I’d be really focused on the defensive side of the game and tell the players to send the ball long up the park. Don’t always play out from the back,” Bobby Petta said to Sunday Post.
“I want to see the Celtic team be as solid as possible, be really hard for the Feyenoord players to get behind them and be so tough to break down. Then, when the time is right, pick a moment and be explosive on the counter. Take Feyenoord by surprise and hurt them.
“One difference, maybe, to the tactics that will go in Celtic’s favour this season is that Brendan does not demand the same high press as Ange. That can take its toll physically and maybe that’s why Celtic conceded so many late goals in Europe last season. The players may have been exhausted.
“But, regardless of how good the players are on the night or what the manager does tactically, you need a big slice of luck at some stage in the game.”
Celtic and Feyenoord have played several friendly matches over the years – Gordon Strachan took his Celtic side their in August 2008 to play in the Feyenoord Jubilee Tournament and spoiled their party somewhat by racing into a 3-0 half-time lead with a goal from Samaras and a double from Vennegoor of Hesselink. The game ended up 3-1 to Celtic and we’d all settle for that tomorrow night!
The only competitive tie was in the European Cup Final in Milan in 1970 when the Dutch side, starring future Celtic manager Wim Jansen, came from behind after Tommy Gemmell opened the scoring for Celtic, to win the trophy in extra-time.
PS – That headline for this article, hope we’re re-producing it again in 48 hours!
PPS – Update – Celtic TV have now posted highlights for this game, see below…