CELTIC legend John Hughes insists there “is much work to be done” for his old club to get back on track in the bid for the historic tenth successive title.
Big Yogi, the Hoops’ seventh-highest goalscorer with 189 goals, was far from impressed by the champions’ performance in the 2-0 loss to Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit and made his feelings known in an EXCLUSIVE interview with Celtic book author Alex Gordon in CQN yesterday.
Hughes has viewed Neil Lennon’s signings this year and believes they will have to step up if they are to go into the annals of fame at Parkhead.
The former fans’ favourite, now 77, said: “I read Kris Commons’ criticism of Mohamed Elyounoussi, Albian Ajeti and Patryk Klimala in CQN – it’s clear he was not too enamoured with their displays against the Ibrox side.
“Join the queue, Kris!
LOST BHOY…Patryk Klimala struggled to make an impact in the derby.
“I have already stated Klimala needs to up his game. I admitted he did not great service in a struggling Celtic team, but when he came out to try to link up play, his passing was deplorable and he surrendered possession far too easily.
“Kris’ take went along the lines of ‘it didn’t look like he had ever played football before’ which is fairly savage. However, it would be fair to say he did look lost in this company. If Lenny put him in to show aggression and some slick movement, he never got it.
“Celtic have had a succession of forwards who have failed to hack it at the club. Vakoun Bayo didn’t look like a Celtic player and he’s now on loan in the French second tier. That may be his level.
“Whatever happened to Amido Balde? Mo Bangura? Stefan Scepovic? Nadir Ciftci? Teemu Pukki had a fabulous season at Norwich City as he helped them into the top flight for a season, but he was a bad fit at Celtic.
“You need a certain mentality to play up front at my old club. Klimala is young, only 22, so he has time to learn, but this season may overwhelm him.
“I noted Kris said Ajeti looked off the pace. I have to defend the Swiss striker and say I was not surprised. He hardly played at all last season for West Ham and he was just beginning to get into his stride when he had his hamstring injury while scoring the second goal in the 3-0 win over Hibs last month.
“He looks an intelligent, bright player to me and his best position could be playing alongside a main frontman such as Odsonne Edouard.
AGONY…Mohamed Elyounoussi shows his anguish after his miss on Saturday.
“Elyounoussi looked like ‘a rabbit caught in the headlights’, accordng to Kris. I think this guy has got undoubted class, but he could be one of those infuriatingly inconsistent characters. Which Elyounoussi is going to turn up on the day?
“Southampton paid Basel £16million for him, but very quickly were only too happy to allow him to move to Celtic on loan at the start of last season. It appeared they had made up their mind about him fairly swiftly.
“Yet there is little doubt he has quality. Just look back to the League Cup semi-final against Hibs in November last year. I thought he was outstanding. He scored two excellent goals, hit the post and generally played with a lot of game intelligence as Celtic won 5-2. Remember, too, this had been a Hibs team who had made life difficult for Lennon’s side in the 1-1 draw in the league at Easter Road at the end of September.
“And then he suffered a broken foot later in the month while on international duty for Norway and he was never the same after that.
“I believe he has something to contribute. Ajeti, too. But I’m afraid Klimala could spend a chunk of this campaign on the substitutes’ bench with the manager picking and choosing the games in which he believes he can make an impact.
“If I had to make a choice between the Polish forward and Leigh Griffiths for a place in my frontline, the Scot would get the nod every time.
“He has proved himself over the years, he’s racked up over 100 goals for the club and there are more to come, I’m convinced of that.”
TOMORROW: Big Yogi turns his attentions to Shane Duffy, Vasilis Barkas and Co as he gives his EXCLUSIVE thoughts on the new Bhoys – only in your champion CQN.