Ex-England boss Fabio Capello feels Celtic have lost fear factor

Fabio Capello

Former England, Real Madrid and AC Milan boss Fabio Capello says Celtic have lost their fear factor at Parkhead and play too many long balls.

Fabio Capello has worked at the very top of the game with Juventus, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Russia and England.

He is well placed to discuss what is required to compete with the best in Europe and express an opinion on those he feels have started to fade on that particular stage.

The Italian believes Celtic fall into that unfortunate category, with the Hoops having failed to reach the group stages of the Champions League in 2014/15.

They have, however, made it through to the last-32 of the Europa League, where they face a glamour tie with Serie A heavyweights Inter Milan.

Ronny Deila will be hoping that an electric atmosphere at Parkhead can help his side to prevail over the course of a two-legged tie, but Capello has warned that a trip to Glasgow is not as fearsome as it once was – with Celtic’s style of play no longer suited to continental competition.

He said at the Dubai International Sports Conference: “I saw some games that Celtic played at home in Europe recently – and they are not the same team I remember.

“Before being drawn to play at Celtic was a terrible game to play because of the atmosphere and the way they performed. Now I think they are not so strong at home – in fact they seem to be finding it difficult to play at their own stadium.

“They are not the same at home as before and it’s not so hard a game now. I watched them in their last home game in Europe, against Salzburg, and it was just not the Celtic of old.

“They had lost the things that used to make them a great team. They used to be fast, strong and dangerous – but in the games I saw them there was none of that. They were hitting long balls all the time and it was very confusing to watch. There seemed to be a lack of confidence.”

Celtic will understandably refute any suggestion that they are no longer capable of holding their own against the best in the business, particularly on home soil.

Despite what Capello may think, it is unlikely that Inter are relishing a trip to Parkhead.

They are not the force they once were either and Deila should have his side believing that anything is possible and that a notable scalp is there for the taking.

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