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Celtic ‘bad boy’ is back smiling at training

Despite the unwelcome overnight headlines Alexandro Bernabei was all smiles at Lennoxtown today.

Late on Thursday night Scott Burns of the Daily Record broke the news that the defender had been dropped from the matchday squad to face Ross County due to reporting late to a team meeting.

Whatever his grasp of English is the message across social media didn’t look good for last summer’s £3m signing.

Although there was no quote to back up the story, not even from a ‘Celtic inside’ it is an unlikely story to make up with Burns very accurate with behind the scenes stories despite not being in the inner circle of favoured Celtic reporters.

With Celtic holding their media duties on Wednesday there isn’t any opportunity to ask Brendan Rodgers about the story, by pre-match on Sunday last week’s team news is hardly a relevant story unless Bernabei is still missing from the bench.

Carl Starfelt’s transfer to Celta Vigo creates a space on the bench but that is likely to go to Stephen Welsh or Liam Scales to provide cover in central defence.


Despite Greg Taylor clearly being established as Celtic’s first choice left-back Bernabei still managed to start nine of Celtic’s 38 SPFL matches.

Although he is a defender his goals against Gamba Osaka and Athletic Bilbao will have been noted by Brendan Rodgers, with Jota sold to Al Ittihad there is a lack of attacking options on the left flank.

The Celtic boss had spoken warmly of connecting with Bernabei, getting the chance to improve his Spanish, but no one should underestimate Rodgers’ friendly supportive personality as a weakness.

If anyone has concerns or thinks that they know better than the boss when it comes to preparations and especially attitude.

Under Neil Lennon and Ronny Deila, Kris Commons, Charlie Mulgrew and Tony Stokes were big influences on and off the park- none of them played a single minute under Rodgers.

After one year in Scotland Bernabei needs to provide serious competition to Taylor, he knows the expectations on Celtic players, the ferocity of going to Ibrox on derby day and the ‘joys’ of clubs on plastic pitches parking the bus.

Rodgers’ decision to drop Bernabei was as much a message to the squad at large as it was to the player involved.

The manager puts a lot of time and thought into every aspect of his job, any player not prepared to do the same will discover that they are easily replaced.

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