SOME Celtic fans find it hard to comprehend when a player doesn’t want to play for the club anymore – mainly because most of us would pay Celtic a handsome fee for the privilege.
That’s why when a player doesn’t look fully committed, hurt feelings quickly boil to the surface, and nowadays we find the evidence of that on social media.
No sooner had the RUMOURS, and we must still stress this is only rumours, that Stuart Armstrong will not be signing a new deal we’ve seen some amount of vitriol aimed at the player.
Why should we be getting mad at anyone who wants to get paid more money to do their job? Armstrong will know himself that staying at Celtic would be the best footballing decision, BUT he’s a smart lad and knows how fickle football can be. It was only ten months ago that some, including myself, were predicting he would be moved on by Brendan Rodgers.
To the midfielders credit, he has upped his game tenfold and became a pivotal part of the treble winning invincibles. Dragging Celtic quickly back from a 1-0 deficit in the Scottish Cup Final was one of his finest moments so far.
Now, ten months on, after he was tipped to leave in the January window we are falling over ourselves trying to get him signed and getting angry when he doesn’t. Let’s face it, most of us would have happily sold him to a Championship side last year without a second thought. Should the midfielder have been angry at us then?
Ultimately, the club itself is the catalyst behind players moving on. It’s no secret that Celtic sell itself as a club where a player can learn, grow but most importantly be moved onto a better league and a higher pay scale.
Do we blame the player for taking advantage of the club’s own philosophy, just because it doesn’t suit us at the time?
I do buy into the argument that Stuart has only had a good 7-8 months and should count his chickens a little but if Premier League sides are willing to pay Celtic a healthy amount and Armstrong a fantastic wage, then all we are seeing is Celtic’s transfer philosophy at work. Even with a year left on his current deal, English Premier League sides are impatient and rarely look to wait for the player’s contract to end, paying more than they should for someone they can pinch in January. That will suit Celtic down to the ground.
The alternative is keeping the midfielder until his contract runs out but we’ve seen what happens in those circumstances.
If Armstrong doesn’t sign a deal, then I wish him all the best, and hope it works out for him but there will be a part of him who will always think ‘what if?’. But there’s certainly no need for the dummy spitting going on at the moment.