Leigh passes to Neil for an open goal


One of Leigh Griffiths charms is his openness.  When asked why he did not get much game time last season, instead of wheeling out the usual “competitive squad”, “fit with plans” gap fillers, Leigh instructed us to go straight to source, “You’d have to ask the coaches at Celtic or Lenny why he didn’t think I was fit.”  So the BBC did.

Neil Lennon was brutally frank about Leigh’s professionalism last spring.  “On full pay for three months lockdown,” the player returned to training “totally out of condition and a stone overweight”.

The manager carries the can for team failures are dramatic as Celtic’s last season and that clearly stings Neil, who added, “The bottom line is if I had a fit and hungry Leigh Griffiths last season, he’d have played because I signed him. We worked incredibly hard with him and he let me and everyone down.”

I have given Leigh Griffiths as much support as anyone but Neil is right to be angry, only managers who didn’t care would be otherwise.  Still, football is not a sentimental business.  Even those who “let…. everyone down” retain some commercial value.

Without a post-Christmas cameo by Leigh in early 2020, I doubt we wold have seen our second nine-in-a-row.  He is clearly a challenge (cough) to manage but I would find a slice of the budget to retain him for at least one more year.  Let’s see what Ange can do with him.

Nice to see some positive transfer stories out there.

Next week, Yoko: “I don’t know why The Beatles split, you’d need to ask Paul.”

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  1. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Two people nowhere near the level Celtic should be aspiring to – though Griffiths certainly closer than Lennon. At best I would keep him on a pay-as-you-play deal, but I think he’s the kind of player that needs to be playing every week and I would hope we would be looking at higher quality players than that.


    Both are symptomatic of the downgrading at the club over the past three years.

  2. LG should be finished,



    His first touch is now a throw in, he’s slow and he looks like he would rather be elsewhere.



    We need to set the bar higher. Hanging on to guys like this never end well

  3. Any supporter with average eyesight could see Leigh was over weight and blowing out the wrong end after 15 mins.



    I’d be sending him on his way. It’s concerning that players like Griff are being retained.

  4. I think we may let Leigh down gently, probably a lower waged contract for 1 year, then Ange can see him and make a decision, doesn’t strike me as a sympathetic coach though, if it doesn’t work out then he’ll be able to speak to clubs in January, por cierto

  5. One year extension after a professional chat with Ange, any shirkin or faffin & you’ll be gone in January.

  6. He’ll be 31 in a couple of months, if he couldn’t stay fit in his 20s I don’t fancy his chances in his 30s. This isn’t a Scott Brown type player, and he’s not going to have a sudden epiphany where he becomes a model professional who plays at the top level for 5 more years.



    Thanks for the goals Griff, we had it good for a while back there, didn’t we? It’s not you it’s….oh who am I kidding, it’s you.



    Best of luck with the move!

  7. POR CIERTO on 24TH JUNE 2021 12:47 PM


    I think we may let Leigh down gently, probably a lower waged contract for 1 year, then Ange can see him and make a decision, doesn’t strike me as a sympathetic coach though, if it doesn’t work out then he’ll be able to speak to clubs in January, por cierto


    GALLAGHER on 24TH JUNE 2021 12:47 PM


    One year extension after a professional chat with Ange, any shirkin or faffin & you’ll be gone in January.



    We’ve never been seen in the same room at the same time! :))) por cierto

  8. Season Tickets renewed, can’t wait to see the new Leather Belts way of playing football. “Mon the Brucies!” por cierto

  9. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Absolutely spot on Pablo.





    We’ve limited striking options so LG worth a punt (for 1-year only).



    Leigh strikes me as a pretty dysfunctional human being and …. if rumours of personal issues including gambling problems are true …. this approach obviously comes with risk.



    Ronnie got inside his head.



    Maybe Ange can do likewise.

  10. quadrophenian on

    The key thing – mibby – that done us in last year was attitude.



    The stinking, self-conceited attitude of those who filled jerseys without fulfilling their commitment to 10-I-A-R.


    Griff must see that the club did right by him, but did he reciprocate that care and encouragement?


    He needs to prove he’s worthy of a chance with AP so I’d agree on reduced-fee, pay-as-you-play model and if he doesn’t want that – good luck at the Dons or Hibs.



    If we are still entertaining the notion that existing squaddies who didn’t show up last year are our future, I’m concerned there’s a covert austerity drive to retain the cheap-to-keeps. There will surely be a smatter of 5m+ buys which has been the way in most previous seasons.



    I hope Ange brings in some guys you’d see as being his (not Peter’s) picks. Aussie/Japanese/etc



    Happy to be proven wrong by Leigh Griff if he’s picked in any of Ange’s starting 11s.




  11. Griffiths should be chased.


    Unprofessional the way he behaved during lockdown. Has had too many chances.



    As for transfer stories. Have you forget that tomorrow is deadline day for season tickets, Paul.

  12. I feel let down by Leigh in recent years. We all know what he is capable of and, but for the ‘post Christmas 2020 period’ identified by Paul, he seems to have downed tools.



    I am happy to let Ange have one more try along the lines of some earlier comments on here.



    We are in anything but a perfect position. Ange is new, let’s get behind him. Stop criticising his appointment and assess him ‘in action’. Next season may be a difficult one – patience is a virtue, may we all be virtuous.



    Leonard Cohen says it all in his song Anthem.



    ‘Ring the bells that still can ring



    Forget your perfect offering



    There is a crack, a crack in everything



    That’s how the light gets in’

  13. Paul 67 et al,



    A relatively fit Leigh Griffiths will bag us over 20 goals a season.


    Where we we get a striker within our budget that will give us that return. ?



    Leigh owes us big time, he deserves a chance under AP to repay us.



    Yes he was unfit and unprofessional, but so was the whole managerial team.



    HH to all on CQN.

  14. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Both of them should shut the– up,a snapshot of the shambles that was last season, Lennon too happy to feed the hate machine, that was a major contributor to the bombs and bullets, I thought he was a bit smarter than that.

  15. I’m in the ‘keep leigh Griffiths’ camp.



    One thing I never see mentioned about him is his well documented personal struggles. I’ve no idea what was going on with him during lock down. Clearly not much training of course. But while we may have fitness fabatics like broony there are guys who may have been struggling just to cope with being stuck I the house, nothing to do, old ghosts to contain. So I do have a bit of sympathy for him.



    Mostly though I think he’s what we need at present – a goalscorer who has been over the course. We may end up with only Ajeti on the books. Until we have quality replacements in the door I would be giving LG another year. The right proportion of compassion and discipline will see him keep more expensive players on their toes or on the bench.

  16. !!Bada Bing!! on

    ‘Positive transfer news…’ ,we have brought in another couple of projects yet again, BTW Paul, we need a new GK and a back 4 right now, we play a CLQ in less than 4 weeks……..same as it ever was…..

  17. Anyone else bored by the euros?



    I don’t even care if England win. I might be mildly excited if they meet Wales in the semi and get pumped. But not likely.



    I am curious as to how England seem to have the same luck of the draw as sevco get in their tournament football.



    Think I’ll give the rest of it a miss unless anyone can point me to potential new celtic players I should be watching?

  18. What are these poitive transfer stories out there?



    First team ready battle scarred and hardened, quick paced, good on the ball defenders?



    And some lightening quick wingers with a trick or two in the locker and the ability to get a cross past the first defender where our new striker can try to get on the end of it?



    Asking for quite a lot of friends!!

  19. The more we discover about the last few seasons, the more we realise what a complete shambles things were behind the scenes.


    Who was responsible for the football depth?


    Who had oversight?

  20. Interesting debate regarding Leigh Griffiths, for what it’s worth, I go an early morning walk around Strathclyde park and after the season had finished seen Leigh jogging round the park most mornings, back of 7am.



    Maybe just keeping himself ticking over during the close season, but perhaps it may be a sign of intent for this season, who knows, but here’s hoping.

  21. As an addendum to my own post at 1:56



    Are we satisfied that such a lack of professionalism won’t be repeated? That we now have the right structures and people in to ensure this?


    Or, is it more of the same and we’ll be reading similar articles in another 18 months time?

  22. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Embdae actually think we will get through the first qualifier, with Ralston and Taylor at full back, and The Ghost in goals?

  23. Lennon refers to Leigh not attending voluntary training at Lennoxtown during the 2020 spring lockdown periods. But what happened pre-season and early season (June-Sept)? Why, when Griffiths would have been with the coaching staff 5-6 days a week, was he still not fit? Then the autumn and winter?


    Or was he fit but perhaps being left out due to previous lockdown grudge and behaviours?


    Few if any players looked as fit as they should be last season.


    Once again NL is hanging the player out to dry rather than pondering his own role in it all.

  24. !!BADA BING!! on 24TH JUNE 2021 2:28 PM


    “Away goals rule scrapped from European football”



    Back to, back against the wall defending then away from home in Europe, por cierto

  25. quadrophenian on

    UNCLE JIMMY – re repeat flusterclucks. Can’t see it for this reason; I don’t think Ange will stand for it.



    Not only does HE want to go all the way as a renowned manager but he knows he is flying a flag for all Aussie managers, and he takes that seriously. I think he cares that this is his big chance to be a big name.


    If he fails, few other Aus will ever get a similar chance.


    I think he’s too proud to be a patsy for anyone.


    Even including DD.




  26. Wonderful, magical Scott Sinclair did voluntary training on his own at Lennoxtown.



    What happened to him ?




  27. Never again will we have to explain the away goals rule or hear someone say , “do away goals count double”.

  28. feels like the media are doing their usual – building up hopes of quality signings only to relish printing “celtic lose out, celtic turned down, celtic not a big club etc..”



    Hoping Dom does his business swiftly and with ambition – unlike PL



    Re Griffiths fitness during lockdown – In this day and age Celtic and Neil Lennon had no excuses. Use technology to monitor players fitness remotely. Hardly ground breaking!



    Griff as an individual let himself, the fans and his teammates down – especially after Celtic supported him during his depression. He showed selfish behavior and I understand why Lennon would be disgusted / let down by him.



    Soundbytes around him from celtic are designed to get some value out of future sale. We don’t need this attitude in the new look Celtic.

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