Carl Starfelt explains what Celtic players learned about European football this season

By David Walton

May 11, 2022

Carl Starfelt believes that Celtic can be successful playing their own style in Europe as he stated that the players have “learned a lot” from our ventures this year.

Ange Postecoglou did tremendously well to qualify for the Europa League by KO’ing AZ Alkmaar before going on to bag 9 points in the group stage. The Hoops would drop down into the Conference League where we produced a dismal two-legged showing against Bodo/Glimt, losing 5-1 on aggregate.

It was a mixed bag, with Celtic simply losing far too many goals. In the UEL and UECL alone, we shipped as many as 20 goals in 8 games. Yet going forward, the Hoops managed to net on 14 occasions.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Next year, the team will feature in the UCL as they get set to win the league at Tannadice tonight. And Starfelt believes that they know what’s required to be successful on the continent next year.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Carl said: “The Champions League is huge, obviously. In club football it’s one of the biggest things you can do so it would be massive for all the players and massive for the fans and the club. Everyone would look forward to it.

“We’re not thinking too much now about what could have been in Europe this year. We learned a lot from playing in these games and although not everything was perfect we went out there to play our football 100 per cent.

“What we know is that it requires a little bit more in Europe. But if we do that then we can also see that it works. So the team learned a lot from being in Europe this year and hopefully we can take that into the Champions League next year.”

67 Hail Hail chats to Carl Starfelt, Anthony Ralston & Scott McDonald on eve of Celtic title party

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67 Hail Hail chats to Carl Starfelt, Anthony Ralston & Scott McDonald on eve of Celtic title party
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Celtic ready to play their own style regardless of the opposition

Celtic have already proven that the system will remain the same regardless of the opposition. They’ll still look to play out from the back and play their way out. That’s just the style Ange Postecoglou wants to play and it’s something the Celtic centre-backs understand.

Yes, it’ll mean that they’re under more pressure next season given it’ll be at a higher level. But the truth is that it’s never going to be something we perfect unless we test it against the best in Europe. There’s no point in the manager sticking to principles only to throw them away when the going gets tough.

That’s not his style. He’ll approach Real Madrid in the same way as he would St Mirren. He’ll put an emphasis on his own method and try to stamp that authority on the match.

Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

We’ve already seen how effective it can be. Just ask Real Betis or Bayer Leverkusen whether Celtic were able to cause them harm defensively. Even against the highest calibre of opposition in the UEL, we were still managing to land some blows this season.

It bodes well for our UCL campaign as we look to make even more of an impact. There will, of course, be mistakes considering we haven’t perfected Ange’s system yet. That will still take more time and we’re nowhere near the complete team.

But continuing to stick by what brought you to the dance is undoubtedly the way to go. Especially if you want the club to have an identity.

In other news, Report: Bristol City to trigger Celtic-linked Antoine Semenyo contract clause