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.”