Former Celtic forward, Charlie Nicholas, knows a thing or two about scoring goals in the famous green and white hoops but it is a current striker that has annoyed the Sky Sports pundit this week.
Writing in his Daily Express column (via The Daily Record), Nicholas reflects on Leigh Griffiths celebration after he scored the opening goal against Partick Thistle in his sides 2-1 victory on Wednesday night.
So what has Nicholas said?
Focussing on Griffiths reaction to scoring his first goal since August, Nicholas said of the former Hibernian striker:
“I might annoy a lot of people with these comments, but I really don’t care. The celebration was wrong. It shouldn’t be about Griffiths – it should be about scoring a goal for Celtic. Mind you, I also got it wrong once. I did it, ironically, when I scored a goal against Partick Thistle, second time around”.
‘When I saw his celebration at Firhill, it left me doubting if Leigh can be that man. Why did he put his fingers in his ears? It is not about a war or creating a so-called agenda. It is about getting himself right as a person – and if he does that, he can become the player he once was”.
“His celebration really worried me and saddened me. I just think he should sort himself out and enjoy his goal. You are trying to pick fights with people who don’t matter. The only thing that matters is you, your team-mates, manager and the fans”.
“If he continues to be sidetracked by everything else then I fear he won’t fully recover. I have my doubts whether he can return to being the player he was. He has some distance to go to reach those levels. Leigh needs to focus all his attentions on his career and getting back to his best if he wants to become a big noise again”.
So is Nicholas correct?
Nicholas seems to have a thing for Celtic strikers and how they celebrate scoring goals, why this matters so much to him remains a mystery, the fact that Griffiths appears to be fully fit and firing on all cylinders again would be the main story in most people’s book here.
For a pundit who claims to be “very supportive of Griffiths” he is going about it in a strange way, there is no reason to focus on such a negative aspect of what is a good news story for Hoops fans.
Griffiths has been receiving pelters from every corner of Scottish football and is well within his rights to have a go back, especially when it was a tongue in cheek reference to his last post on twitter before deleting his account after the £3.5m arrival of Patryk Klimala.
Does it matter how Griffiths celebrated his goal?
If Nicholas really cares about Griffiths and Celtic he should have put his column to better use, rather than doubting whether or not he can return to his previous form, he should have been using it to praise the fact he has been able to fight his way back into first-team reckoning after a trouble filled 18-months – if you don’t have something nice to say, why say something at all – as the saying goes.