Chris Sutton's passionate message for Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths

By David Walton

June 30, 2021

Chris Sutton has launched into a passionate call for Leigh 8Griffiths to get himself fit and star for Celtic once again.

Griffiths’ current long-term situation remains up in the air. His contract has yet to be officially extended. However, the player himself believes that he’ll be allowed the chance to prove himself this season [BBC].

Regardless of whether he is or isn’t, last season was a complete disaster. Turning up for pre-season out of shape, Griffiths never managed to turn things around. He would only see nine starts and 901 minutes overall. Ending the campaign with nine goals, it was an unacceptable return from the former Hibs striker.

And Sutton, who has constantly called Griffiths out for underperforming, has today put out a passionate urge for him to get back into the swing of things at Parkhead.

“Getting tiresome”

Speaking via the Record’s Celtic podcast, Sutton said: “The Griffiths debate is getting tiresome. Scotland at the Euros, Griffiths should’ve been picked? No he shouldn’t because he wasn’t at the required fitness level, hasn’t been all season. So let’s hope if Leigh is back in the gym that he’s up to speed and a massive asset. Because if he is, then Ange Postecoglou is going to be in a very good position.

An exciting seven days for Celtic fans is about to get underway

“Leigh’s one of these players who Ange will be scrutinising and looking at closely. Everything about Leigh is going to be attitude, attitude, attitude. Fitness levels – is he going to be fit enough to play 90 minutes for three times a week? If he’s not then I’m afraid that’s unacceptable. He isn’t 40. He’s let his standards drop.

“You don’t lose that finishing ability. It’s all there but the fitness levels aren’t. He’s going to be a real dilemma for the manager coming in. I bet at the moment Postecoglou is thinking ‘I can’t trust him’. He’s another one who’s playing for his career. It’s not enough coming off the bench with little cameos. Little cameos won’t win Celtic back the title.”

Chris Sutton bang on – does Leigh Griffiths want to be a Celtic hero or not?

I can’t criticise anything Sutton has said here. Nobody needs convincing of Leigh Griffiths’ ability. When on form, and you could say he hasn’t been since 2016, he’s the most clinical striker in Scottish football. That’s undeniable. His record proves it.

But it’s the attitude and application. It’s the countless chances he gets yet fails to learn his lesson. It’s the constant promises that he’s getting himself fit and then letting us down again.

You could even say that he’s lucky if he does get another chance. He hasn’t scored over 20 goals for the club since the 2015/16 season. Would we all still be getting kept on in our jobs if we were underperforming for five years? Have a think. If so, I envy you.

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

If Griffiths is serious then, against our no doubt better judgement, he’ll be given another year. But it’ll only happen if the manager believes he’s telling the truth. Because the truth is we’ve all heard it before.

If he knuckles down then we could use him, of course we could. We’re not blessed with in-form strikers, and Griffiths should be the first name behind Odsonne Edouard to be our next number one centre-forward. That nobody is even mentioning him as Edouard’s natural replacement tells you a lot about the last five years.

It’s still to be confirmed what’s happening with Griff. But if Leigh really wants to be a part of things, there can be no more blips.

In other news, Midtjylland have given themselves a boost today as Celtic fans continue to wait.