Barry Bannan might have played his entire senior career down South, but he will know Celtic very well, thanks to having represented the club at the youth levels before moving to Aston Villa. The midfielder has carved out a very respectable career for himself in English football and has made multiple appearances for the Scotland national team as well.
Currently, he is with Sheffield Wednesday and The Owls had actually met Celtic in pre-season last time around, when Ange Postecoglou’s side had walked out with a 3-1 victory.
It is funny to think how far things have come since then. At that point, the fans would have been happy to have a solid season and somehow nick a trophy. Even coming close to the Rangers in the league would have been considered as an achievement for Postecoglou, as the Hoops had finished 25 points behind their Glasgow rivals in the previous season.
As we all know, Celtic went on to win a Premiership and League Cup double. It was progress throughout the season though. But Bannan appeared to have seen the signs in pre-season itself. As reported by 67 Hail Hail, while speaking on the Celtic Unrestricted View podcast, he said:
“We played them, and the first five/ten minutes, we were all over them and could’ve scored a few goals. They obviously never had all their main players playing, but as the game grew and they kept sticking to what they were trying to do, at the end, they were the better team.
“It was that thing with the inverted wing-backs. At the start, they couldn’t get a hold of it, it was Ralston coming inside and Welsh at centre half, and we were cutting a lot of the passes out.
“But as they were sticking to it, they never went away from it even though we were nipping in and getting chances. The manager was obviously adamant, ‘this is what we’re doing’.
“As the season wore on, they kind of mastered it, really. You could tell from that day, and looking back now, they were obviously working on what’s became so successful through the season.”
Bannan makes very interesting Celtic admission from last pre-season
It is safe to say that Celtic have done a wonderful job every since Postecoglou has arrived as manager and his record speaks for itself till now.
One of Postecoglou’s biggest strengths is the fact that he knew what he wanted to do at Celtic and stuck to it, even when things were not going his way early on in the season and many were predicting that he would be gone by Christmas.
Now, it will be very interesting to see where this side can go from here on. The foundation is there for a very successful team and now, they must build on it and keep getting better.
This article was originally posted here