The Scottish Championship season started on Friday night with a game that was free for all to see on the BBC Scotland channel. Any Celtic fan watching would have seen loan Bhoy Jonathan Afolabi coming on at half-time for Dundee against Hearts.
Afolabi performed well in his 45 minutes, as he linked up well with striker Danny Mullen to set up Dundee’s second goal. However, despite that goal it was enough to prevent the Dens Park side falling to a 6-2 defeat in the first game of the season.
Hoops loanee thrown into difficult situation
Obviously that isn’t how Afolabi wanted the season to start. However, he can be pleased enough with his display. Also, as Dundee were 4-1 down at half-time it was highly unlikely that the striker was going to inspire a comeback.
Neil Lennon may have been watching the game whilst preparing for the Glasgow derby. He will have been impressed with Afolabi’s movement, and willingness to have a shot on goal.
Lennon will be more interested in how the player himself performs, rather than the results that Dundee get, although he won’t want the Dens Park club to go on a losing streak. That could have an adverse effect on Afolabi’s confidence.
Fans wanted player to start game
Dundee fans on social media seemed impressed with the Celtic striker despite the heavy defeat on the night. More than a few questioned why manager James McPake didn’t start Afolabi in the game. Perhaps the reason for that is that the forward had been away with Ireland under-21s on international duty.
As a result Afolabi might not have got a lot of time to train with his teammates ahead of the match. Still, the Dundee fans and indeed Neil Lennon will be hoping that the player gets a start for Dundee sooner rather than later.
That could well happen in Dundee’s next game, when they take on Morton at home next Saturday.
Here are some of the best reactions from Dundee fans to Afolabi’s performance:
Agreed mate – we gave Hearts so much space and time it was far too easy for them. Plus side was introduction of Afolabi and Mullen and Adam’s goal 😀👍
— Anthony Marshall (@Soccermarsh1) October 16, 2020
Why didn’t Dundee start with Mullen and Afolabi tonight
— Brandon Williamson (@_BrandonW7) October 16, 2020
Still can’t believe we started this game with a strike force of Paul McGowan and osman sow while Danny Mullen and jonothan afolabi were sat on the bench.
— Andrew Fraser (@AndrewF69167829) October 16, 2020
Jonathan Afolabi looks like a handful.
— Ciaran Shanks (@CiaranShanks) October 16, 2020
I’m really liking Afolabi and Mullen up front btw….what a difference already
— LesBarrShuffle (@lesbarrshuffle) October 16, 2020
— Iain Small (@Smally1969) October 16, 2020
Exactly, using wing backs when there not good at going forward, Robertson hide and seek champ, Mullen and Afolabi should of been on from start and McGowan no where near the team and doesn’t bring on mcdaid🤯
— Sean Gallacher (@SeanpGallacher) October 16, 2020