The interesting responsibility Celtic boss gave Alexandro Bernabei this afternoon
Alexandro Bernabei certainly made a positive impression on the Celtic supporters this afternoon, but it was interesting to note the responsibility he was given by Ange Postecoglou.
It was the ideal time to ease the former Lanus man into his new role at the club. With Greg Taylor being rested and being up against low-quality opposition, Bernabei was given the opportunity to show his attacking qualities as he combined well with Mikey Johnston throughout.
The Argentinian defender also nearly got himself on the scoresheet in the first half as Celtic cruised to a 7-0 win over Wiener Viktoria. But there was another aspect of his game today that will have caught the Celtic fans’ eyes.
Bernabei was given the role of getting dead-balls into the penalty area at every opportunity. Whether it was corners or free-kicks, it was the new signing that was tasked with providing the service.
We won’t pretend all deliveries were high-quality. You get the impression he’s still to find his range. But it’s clear that this could be another trait he has in his locker.
Last term, Celtic were used to the likes of Matt O’Riley delivering from dead-ball situations. It remains to be seen if Bernabei becomes our new first-choice set-piece specialist.
Alexandro Bernabei can be pleased with debut Celtic performance
It was an odd afternoon in fairness. The game against Wiener Viktoria was simply a case of two teams at total opposite ends of the footballing spectrum. It became clear within minutes that there was simply too much class between them.
And whilst we dominated the contest, it got a bit ridiculous given how often Viktoria would lose possession. The game didn’t have much of a structure to it, and that made it a touch more difficult for us to see Bernabei’s full package.
The same goes for his defensive skills. He wasn’t once tested by Viktoria and that still leaves a major question open as to how well he can track back against better opposition. Something we’ll hopefully find a bit more about when Celtic travel to Rapid Vienna on Saturday.
Granted, there was enough today to be satisfied with. Bernabei looked extremely comfortable in Ange’s system and didn’t once look out of place in the inverted full-back role. No doubt something that made him so attractive to the Celtic boss in the first place.
But the tests will keep on coming and they’ll be a lot stronger than what we experienced today. It’s difficult to get too much of a read on the performance of the Celtic players this afternoon. As professional and high-intensity as it was, we’ll only know a bit more when we face tougher opposition.
Roll on Saturday. Today was a nice confidence boost for the new signings, fringe players and youngsters. Bernabei will no doubt be pleased with what he showed as we look forward to seeing more of him and his dead-ball deliveries.