The rhetoric from media outlets since Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths opened up his Scotland scoring account with two emphatic free kicks has not been one of praise and wonderment that a talent who can pull such a feet off plays in Scotland. Instead, it’s been all about selling him to whatever club had their channels set to Sky Sports last Saturday and seen him put England to the sword late on.
That’s our game in a nutshell.
While some marvel at Celtic’s accomplishments this season – an invincible treble, something that hasn’t really sunk into myself yet. Most are more interested in where they can tout these players off to in the close season. There is very little praise for Celtic bringing the likes of Sinclair and Dembele in. Well, I tell a lie, there is but it’s the most backhanded praise you’re ever likely to read. Compliments on the players talents followed up by who they’ll end up at next because they’re clearly too good for our game. Rather than soak in the fact these players chose to be at Celtic, the press choose to focus on where they’ll end up post Celtic.
Griffiths is getting the treatment this week because he’s been splashed all over the papers after the Scotland vs England game. The Scots came close to a massive upset and Leigh was the man heading the charge. There maybe some clubs that have taken a second glance at Leigh since then but it’s been nothing more than that.
The club and the player are both happy with each other. You only have to look back Leigh’s recent tweets about the club where he reiterated how much it means to play for a club like Celtic and how he doesn’t take that privilege lightly. Lesser men, who fall down the pecking order would happily move on to pastures new but Leigh is a fighter and I think he loves the challenge of trying to oust Dembele from up top.
Celtic will also be battling on four fronts come the start of the season and with only Leigh and Moussa as our recognised strikers at the moment there is no way the club would entertain a deal for Leigh.
How about we start praising the players who WANT to stay here either to develop or thrive rather than raise an eyebrow and wonder what’s wrong with them that they’d choose to stick around in Scottish football. In a week where the SFA president himself told us he wants to see a strong Rangers to challenge Celtic, disregarding Aberdeen and anyone else in the league, it shows you how insular, narrow minded and bereft of hope our game has bwent come. Celtic almost blamed for being too successful and the prevailing opinion is we need to be brought down a peg or two; sell our best players to the EPL and hopefully it’ll become a two horse race again, eh. Wishful thinking.