Former Aberdeen striker, Noel Whelan, has been the latest pundit to criticise the behaviour of Leigh Griffiths with his manager having to fend questions about his Parkhead future.
Neil Lennon has been scathing in his assessment of Griffiths’s behaviour which saw him left behind whilst the squad travelled to France for a series of friendly fixtures and speaking to Football Insider, Whelan feels that he only has himself to blame.
So what has Whelan said?
Whilst Whelan believes that there would still be plenty of teams interested in Griffiths should he leave Celtic, he knows that a possible departure could return to haunt him given how the current situation has arisen:
“I don’t think it’ll stop him getting a club because we know he’s still a very good player, what it will do is take him away from one of the biggest clubs in Scotland and in Europe.
“What it has done is shot himself in the foot because at the back end of last season he was banging in goals, looking very, very sharp and more like his old self. You’d think he’d carry on that form, you think you’d want to keep your body in a good place after what’s gone on in your head.
“Fitness can be the one thing that takes your mind off all these other problems by throwing yourself into it. Unfortunately, he’s really let himself down here and Neil Lennon, hence why the embarrassment of being left at home.”
So is Whelan correct?
There are usually two sides to an argument, however, in this case, Griffiths is 100% in the wrong. Even in lockdown, he was still able to get out every day to train, he is a (well paid) professional athlete and should have behaved as such, there is no excuse for the condition he returned in.
Lennon seems genuinely perplexed with the player – who has been given ample backing and support by the club – and although he ruled out a potential loan move for the striker, appears to be planning to be without him for the foreseeable future, were he to leave, there is little chance of the Scotland international getting an opportunity to play at the same level to the one he current does.
Griffiths has been in this position before, and although he fought his way back into the first team, it may be that the door on the last chance saloon has finally swung closed behind him.