Pundit Pat Bonner felt sorry for Celtic striker Patryk Klimala tonight, feeling he didn’t get the right service from his teammates, speaking to BBC Sportsound (live match page, 21:02).
The Polish youngster was given a big opportunity by manager Neil Lennon from the start of the Scottish Premiership encounters against St Mirren but struggled to make an impact against a tight, compact defence.
Albian Ajeti eventually came off the bench to replace him in the 65th minute.
Bonner had this to said on Radio Scotland co-commentary duties (21:02): “Looking at Kilmala in these last 10 minutes, you almost feel sorry for him. He’s made nice little runs but the balls aren’t coming. Nothing is fed into him. I think he’s touched the ball once in the second half.”
It’s something that some Celtic supporters were discussing too, with these fans taking to Twitter to note that Klimala looked a little isolated.
Didn’t work for Klimala tonight, but he had zero service or balls in behind for him to chase. Hopefully Ajeti can get better service in last 25 mins
— Ped (@BigBuck_78) September 16, 2020
Feel for Klimala here. Celtic have been a creativity vacuum.
— NEILJUNG67 (@NEILJUNGERS67) September 16, 2020
Klimala looking like he’s better coming on as a sub against tiring defences than starting against teams who are sitting back and giving no space.
— claire (@claire_mcharg) September 16, 2020
For me the last comment hits the nail on the head of why tonight was a difficult one for the 21-year-old.
Klimala is a player best suited to running in behind defenders and latching on to through balls. As Bonner said in commentary, it’s something he was trying to do during his time on the pitch.
However, the majority of Celtic games in the Premiership will be against low defence who sit back and absorb pressure.
That’s more the kind of set-up that Ajeti will thrive against, latching on to loose balls in the box and making an impact.
The spotlight is on Klimala right now because he’s something of a newcomer at the club but in my book, he can’t be judged too harshly for his display in Paisley.
It’s not as if we were cutting through the Buddies’ defence and setting up the forward with chances.
He will have his moments this term and could well be most effective off the bench.
However, it’s clear that he is very much still a work in progress rather than the finished product.
It’ll be interesting to see how Lennon utilises him moving forward.