Sunday was a day of celebration for Celtic fans all over the world, and also offered us all a chance to look towards the future. One player that we could see a lot more of in the immediate future could be Sunday’s hero Mikey Johnston. Appearances for Johnston this season have been moderate which could possibly be down to the over-abundance of wingers that have featured for Celtic at various points of the season.
Due to this swell of wide players among other things, Johnston hasn’t really been able to establish himself in the side regularly. Despite impressing in the reserves and also with the first team with his maiden goal against Motherwell followed up in the next game where he scored two high-quality goals for Celtic in the centre-forward position in consecutive 3-0 wins for the Bhoys.
Perhaps where some doubt is cast with regards to the fans maybe has came from the two games that he has featured at Ibrox against Rangers, with both games culminating in subsequent 1-0 and 2-0 defeats where he struggled to make an impact on proceedings. This is possibly where most of his criticism has come from.
There could be a counter-argument that Johnston shouldn’t have featured in either of those games. One because of not featuring in his natural position, featuring almost as a right wing-back at times in the 2-0 defeat at Ibrox subduing Johnston’s evident forward threat as a result and also as a lone striker up against a centre-half pairing of Goldson and Worrall coming in at 6ft 3 and 6ft 4 respectively which they were able to use to their advantage.
Sunday, for Johnston, was quite conceivably his best in a Celtic shirt – an exuberant performance that encapsulated everything about Johnston that has been regarded so highly for a number of years.
The player’s ability to beat a man, work rate off the ball, creating chances out of nothing and most importantly the quality of his two goals was reason enough to get Celtic fans off their seats. Five goals in seven starts in the SPFL Premiership with a goal ratio of 0.4 per game, there could well be an opportunity for Johnston to become a mainstay in the side next season.