Ben Siegrist confidently addresses the one concern about his Celtic signing

By John McGinley

June 23, 2022

Ben Siegrist is looking forward to showing people how could he can be with the ball at his feet after signing for Celtic.

Siegrist has long been considered one of the better goalkeepers in the Scottish Premiership – his shot-stopping ability isn’t in doubt.

However, some concerns have been raised over the last few weeks about his suitability for the goalkeeping role at Celtic, specifically in this Ange Postecoglou team.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Pool via Getty Images

Postecoglou has emphasised that he likes his goalkeepers to help the Bhoys defence play through the opposition press and progress the ball into midfield, or at least play out of tight situations.

It’s something even Joe Hart hasn’t looked comfortable with at times since joining the club, despite his impressive debut season at Celtic.

Siegrist hasn’t shown a particular aptitude for that at Dundee United either, raising questions about the worth of signing someone who isn’t an improvement on Hart in that regard. Should Celtic have gone for a different kind of goalkeeper?

The new signing is adamant he can improve and show people what he’s capable of.

Speaking to The Herald [23/06 print edition, Sport supplement, page 3], Siegrist said: “The fact that I’m probably going to have to learn a different style of playing excites me. It’s not really risky because you don’t just turn up on a Saturday and it happens. You obviously practise it every day on the training ground.

“Will it take some time to adjust? Of course. But I don’t look at it as being that risky – I won’t be playing square passes in the six-yard box! But if that’s the way the manager wants to play then it’s up to me to get it nailed down.

“It’s part of my game that I probably couldn’t show to people because of the way I was asked to play at my previous team. So I look forward to showing people how good I am at it. It will 100 per cent make me a better player. That’s exactly the point.

“I want to learn a different side of the game and ‘Angeball’ – as you’ve called it – I’ve played against it and it’s pretty annoying when the boys are chasing after it for 90 minutes and the ball is moving so quickly. But I’ve seen it, I’ve competed against it and now I want to be part of it on the other side.”

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

I like this answer from Siegrist. He isn’t going to have everyone convinced he can make an impact at Celtic from day one.

However, as always, new signings will be judged on what they do at Celtic, not what they’ve done in the past at other clubs.

Celtic were never going to sign a new outright number one goalkeeper this summer to replace Hart. He had a great season and is fully worth the jersey right now, for me.

The best option was to sign a hungry goalkeeper who is comfortable not playing every week initially but who harbours an ambition to improve on and push Hart.

Siegrist ticks that box and has the right attitude to fit into Postecoglou’s squad.

In other news, Harry Kewell shows respect to John Kennedy and Celtic coaching staff.