Timothy Weah deserved to start for Celtic against Livingston yesterday

By David Walton

April 7, 2019

Celtic manager Neil Lennon made one big mistake with his team selection yesterday against Livingston – not starting Timothy Weah.

The young American must’ve been sitting on the bench for 70 minutes wondering what more he has to do to play regularly for the Hoops.

Weah scored his fourth goal for the club in a terrific individual showing at St Mirren last midweek. His directness and link-up play with the other attackers gave Celtic a different dimension to their play.

So if there was any reminders needed of what Weah can produce, Wednesday night was it.

But, despite that, the American wonder-kid didn’t come on until 70 minutes in during the 0-0 draw with Livi yesterday.

Timothy Weah continues to look sharp for Celtic (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

When he did, he created a couple of half-chances and also managed to open up space for others. Odsonne Edouard came roaring into the game once Weah came on, and had two glorious chances off of Weah assists. Celtic were unlucky not to score in the end, but shot themselves in the foot by not selecting the PSG youngster.

It’s becoming a bit of a farce how little Weah is being used. He hasn’t started in one of the club’s big games for a while now. Against Hearts, Hibernian, Rangers, and Aberdeen, Weah either came on late in the match or wasn’t used at all.

Should start but won’t start

Next Sunday, Celtic take to Hampden looking to book a Scottish Cup semi-final place. It’s the kind of setting that you feel Weah would thrive under.

Celtic also only looked threatening against Aberdeen after Weah came on at Parkhead. Before that, the game was a very similar pattern to the Livi one yesterday, minus the goalscoring chances.

Weah scored a big goal on Wednesday night at St Mirren (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Yet, don’t expect a starting spot for him at Hampden. Lennon is likely to keep him rooted to the bench whilst the likes of Ryan Christie or Scott Sinclair get in ahead of him.

Yesterday was a slap in the face to all of us. But it almost certainly would’ve been avoided had we started with Weah’s dynamism alongside Edouard.

Lennon simply has to learn how best to use Weah if he wants the job permanently. Results like yesterday are nasty black marks on his record. But the Northern Irishman isn’t helping himself either.