Ben Siegrist dismisses the biggest concern many will have about his Celtic switch
New Celtic goalkeeper Ben Siegrist has dismissed any fears regarding playing with the ball at his feet more often.
Siegrist’s arrival from Dundee United isn’t just a change of intensity and expectation – it’s also a change of playing style for him to get used to.
Joe Hart had his struggles at times last season with Ange wanting his goalkeepers to be comfortable playing out from the back. This can lead to some tight situations and requires not only accurate distribution but efficient footwork when under pressure.
That’s not something Siegrist was used to at United, and therefore is a potential concern heading into his new role at Celtic Park. However, speaking at a fan media presser today in which 67HailHail attended, the Swiss stopper said the following:
“Yes I’ll definitely be working on it because we’re going to be doing repetitions every week. I look forward to doing it. Obviously I was in a position where I wasn’t necessarily asked to do the same as Joe was asked to do last season.
“But it will be like riding a bycicle and getting use to it quite quickly.”
Ben Siegrist’s biggest challenge will be the Celtic style change
Make no mistake, this is an absolutely huge adaption he’s going to have to make. He’ll be used to launching the ball up the park with United under Tam Courts and Micky Mellon before him, but his instructions couldn’t be more different at Celtic.
He’ll have to show good technical ability combined with always being able to keep the head at all times. If he makes an error with the ball at the back then chances are it’s going to end in a goal for the opposition.
Granted, Hart still isn’t perfect at it and you can see a level of uncomfortability at times when we’re over-playing at the back. But even so, he’s managed to adapt his game brilliantly and is now a lot more confident with the ball at his feet than he was 12 months ago. Last year, many would’ve laughed at the idea of Hart being adept playing out from the back.
It’s difficult to know what level of skill Siegrist holds in that regard too. As he said, it’s not something he was used to at Dundee United. It’s probably the only great unknown about his game over the last 4 years. But we’ll find out very quickly given the manager’s style of play.
But Siegrist will know all about what Ange wants his goalkeepers to do. He’ll have been watching closely and undoubtedly researching further after news of our interest became solid. Evidently, he’s confident this won’t be a problem.
Pre-season will tell us plenty about whether that will indeed be the case.