Davie Provan badly mistimes his over the top Leigh Griffiths criticism
Former Celtic player Davie Provan slammed striker Leigh Griffiths in his Scottish Sun column today but the criticism was badly mistimed.
Griffiths has been struggling with his fitness this summer and was publicly criticised by manager Neil Lennon earlier this month.
Left at Lennoxtown while the squad travelled to France, there was understandable concern about Griffiths’ future in the Celtic team.
It always seemed unlikely however that the door would be completely shut on the Scotland international without one last chance.
Provan reckons Griffiths’ actions this summer are ‘unforgivable’ but the manager today confirmed that Griffiths is now in good shape and is set to play against Hibernian in a friendly tomorrow.
As quoted by The Scottish Sun, Provan said: “Disappointing to watch a talent like Leigh Griffiths flush his career down the toilet.
“When he could be repaying Celtic for their support during his mental health issues, he’s sticking two fingers up at Neil Lennon instead.
“Mug punters still offering Griff sympathy need to wise up. Missing the games in France through lack of fitness was unforgivable.
“At 29, he should be starring for Celtic and Scotland. Instead, he’s becoming a circus act on social media. I wouldn’t bet on Lennon giving him another chance.”
That chance now looks certain to come.
The Daily Record reported last night that he had returned to training on Thursday and Friday.
Then, being questioned by reporters after today’s match against Ross County, Lennon confirmed the comeback was on.
As quoted by BBC Scotland, the manager said: “I gave him a bit of criticism while I was away. He’s got himself in great condition. He needs a little bit of time in terms of his football. He will get some game time tomorrow.
“It’s a great boost. It’s the minimum requirement. He’s got himself to a really good level, so it’s important he maintains that because he will be an asset for us.”
Personally I’m losing count of the number of times a pundit has declared Griffiths’ career over but Provan perhaps should have checked the lay of the land before his column today.
The most exciting Celtic starting line-up in 2020 was one including both Griffiths and Odsonne Edouard.
The sooner we can get back to that, the better.
Griffiths needs to work hard but, hopefully, he is again on the right track and the goals will follow.