I got my wish last night, that Leigh Griffiths would reach the 40 goal mark for the season, and what a great goal it was too, memories of Love St ’86. Also delighted Leigh was aware-enough to mimic Henrik’s ” five zero” gesticulation when he reached 50 in 2001.
40 goals for Celtic in a season is a very rare achievement, as Paul John Dykes pointed out this morning, it’s now only been done 13 times in 128 years. Jimmy McGrory (four times, three in a row) and Henrik Larsson (three times, two in a row), are the only two who have achieved this more than once in their Celtic careers, so Leigh knows what he needs to do next season to get a really special place in the history books.
As for the other pertinent points from last night’s game in Perth, I can cut Stefan Johansen some slack. McDiarmid Park was a farmer’s field not so long ago, and St Johnstone’s first goal looked like it came as a result of a plough intervention.
Efe Ambrose is another story. Last night’s decision to challenge (Logan Bailly) for a ball inside his own six-yard box was inexplicable but consistent with his general awareness this season. When the new manager is in place, someone inside Lennoxtown needs to find the earliest possible moment to sit him down and play the Efe highlights video.
We have a good central defender in Erik Sviatchenko (club captain in the making), and one who could become so in Jozo Simunovic. If Jozo gets himself fit for July we should be well-placed for the qualifiers, but those two aside, we are struggling in central defence.
Out of contract Charlie Mulgrew is in the latter stages of his career, but can be trusted to do a job without causing unnecessary alarm every week. Mikael Lustig’s days as a rampaging full back may be limited by his persistent hip issues, so playing as auxiliary central defender, as he often does for Sweden, works on paper.
I’d be far from confident facing Champions League qualifiers with Efe or Dedryk Boyata, who could still makes Belgium’s Euro’s squad, but if Jozo’s fit, signing a right back, with Mikael covering central defence, feels like an appropriate use of resources.