Discussion in 'Celtic Chat' started by Valhalla, Jul 24, 2019.
Discuss Hatem Abd Elhamed in the Celtic Chat area at TalkCeltic.net.
@Gyp Rosetti is pure zen on his auld age.
Getting my Bitton tap ready for the 10.
Mossad done it....
Right now he is my no 1 RB....
I hope he stays in the team for the foreseeable.
Haha that is * brilliant.
Big man is brimming with confidence.
Probably be CB on Sat, be interesting to see how he gets on..
Can't see Hamilton causing the big man any problems.
Be interesting to see how he gets forward from a cental position..
With Bauer and Boli both being attacking full backs, I think he might be told to curtail the forward runs.
Can't have everyone just charging forward like a school game of 20-a-side.
There will be opportunities to do so, Ajer does it plenty, helps commit a packed defence..
Calling it now, he's gonna score..
CELTIC new boy Hatem Abd Elhamed has revealed how he refused to play in a Europa League clash for his former club so he could force through a move to the Hoops.
The Israeli international has been a surprise hit since his summer £1.6 million move from Hapoel Be’er Sheva and was outstanding in the recent Old Firm win.
And he’s revealed the torment he went through before the move because Celtic did not want him cup-tied for their European campaign.
Elhamed said: “When you tell your manager a couple of hours before an extremely important game that you are refusing to play, it’s a super dramatic thing
“I made an exceptionally courageous decision because I knew if I hadn’t done that, I probably wouldn’t have been able to make a transfer to Celtic.
“We were in Albania to play Laci in a Europa League game and it was clear I was going to be starting.
t was massively important to the club because we needed a good European run.
“But on the morning of the game I got a phone call telling me that if I played with Be’er Sheva, the transfer to Celtic was off because I then wouldn’t be able to play for Celtic in Europe.
For three hours I sat in the hotel lobby and drank endless cups of coffee. I couldn’t make up my mind.
“On the one hand, I desperately wanted to play for Celtic, but on the other hand I didn’t want to let down all the Be’er Sheva fans who had fallen in love with me and had an excellent relationship with.
“They treated me like a king.
“My head was gone and I couldn’t function because of the pressure of the decision. I knew I would be of no use to the team that night.
“I was too nervous to talk to the manager. I wrote him a long message asking not to play.
“He took it very badly and that’s not surprising since he had been brilliant with me and helped me so much.
“The owner, Alona Barkat, also was far from happy. But I couldn’t lie and say I was injured or sick, I just had to tell the truth.
“I then had to wait a further two weeks before the move was completed, so I was very scared it fell through.
“But I was delighted when the transfer was done and both the manager and the owner wished me all the best, so it did have a happy ending.”
And the 28-year-old is enjoying his new career at Celtic.
He said: “The fans have been great. I’m not sure if they expected a player coming from the Israeli League to be physical. I have connected really well with them.
“We had an important derby win against Rangers, but the only disappointment was losing to Cluj in the Champions League.
“We are a much better team than them. We should have easily beaten them at home.
“But I’m sure I’ll get another chance of Champions League football with Celtic.”
Dedryck Abd Elhamed
HATEM ELHAMED is gearing up for a test of endurance this season after completing his fourth 90 minutes in 13 days.
The Israeli iron man also insists he will play anywhere after featuring in every position across the back four for club and country this term.
Elhamed proved his versatility during the Premiership wins against Hamilton and Rangers which bookended international appearances in Slovenia and Macedonia.
The summer signing was a stand-out playing right-back at Ibrox and looked equally as comfortable in central defence following the injury to countryman Nir Bitton.
And with doubts surrounding the participation of Christopher Jullien against Rennes on Thursday — in the wake of his head knock at Hamilton — Elhamed is willing to fill in there if required.
He said: “I also played 45 minutes at left-back against Slovenia, as well as playing in the middle. So I feel I’m capable of playing anywhere in defence.
It doesn’t matter to me whether it is right-back, left-back or central defence. I’m confident I can make the right decisions regardless of what position I play in.
“I felt I did well for the national team and it has been a good start so far for Celtic. I am happy to switch positions if required.
The derby was a great experience for me. I played two different positions and I want to take the confidence into Thursday.
“The atmosphere was tough but I feel I adapted well. That game with Rangers was one of the toughest and biggest of my career.”
Elhamed is expecting another stern examination in France this week as the Hoops begin their Europa League campaign.
But having trounced Rangers and AIK in their last two high-profile road trips, the Israeli feels they go there riding the crest of a wave.
He added: “It does help when you have played well away from our home at Celtic Park. We showed against Rangers and Stockholm that we can do well without a lot of our fans.
“That gives us a lot of confidence before we play Rennes. We have a strong squad and players with a strong belief, so we can be confident.
“I think we can go and show this in France.”
Elhamed is keen to get off to a flier as he firmly believes Celtic have the capabilities to go deep in the competition.
He said: “We have to take it game by game but we want to do well in the competition.
“It’s a tough start away in France, against a very good team, so we need to match them physically.
“We need to be aggressive and make our mark in Europe. We are a big club so we should be aiming to do big things in Europe.
“I have played in the competition before with Hapoel Be’er Sheva and enjoyed it. There is no reason why we cannot do well in Europe and at home this season.”
The Rennes scouts would not have learned much from Celtic’s 1-0 victory at the Fountain of Youth Stadium.
Neil Lennon’s men were nowhere near their best but, for the second straight league game, they didn’t have to be.
Hamilton’s sticky plastic pitch and an impressive rearguard action from Brian Rice’s side made life difficult for them.
But when the final whistle sounded, the Premiership table showed they have won five from five so far this season, scored 18 goals and conceded just three.
James Forrest’s fourth-minute strike was all that separated the two sides in what was an instantly forgettable contest.
Elhamed accepts it wasn’t a classic but he was impressed by the way Celtic ground out three points in tricky circumstances.
He said: “You have to adapt to the different conditions, whether if it is against Rangers with 50,000 people or against Hamilton with a small crowd.
“You have to be professional and show your quality in both those situations. We just had to win this game and we showed a strong mentality.
“We got the job done and now we look forward to the next game against Rennes. The conditions were not the best but you have to respect the opposition and the pitch.
“I didn’t know too much about Hamilton beforehand. But it doesn’t matter that we are Celtic. We just have to come to these places and win.
“We are in a good place right now and we want to keep that momentum going. However, it is only five games into the season.
“It is too early to start speaking about winning things just yet.”
Mohamed Elyounoussi set up the winner for Forrest on his first Celtic start since joining on loan from Southampton.
And Elhamed feels the Norwegian international’s display is a sign of better things to come.
He added: “It is only his first game but he showed his qualities out there.
“He is a good player and I am sure he will help us a lot this season. I was impressed with his performance.”
One for @Gyp Rosetti
Good interview with the big man.