When it came to some of the unluckier players between August and December, Greg Taylor can surely be at the top of the list.
The summer-signing from Kilmarnock arrived with plenty of excitement about what he could offer. Yet, bizarrely, he proceeded to play only four times in the Premiership and five overall (Transfermarkt).
Unfortunately for Taylor, when he looked ahead of him, he saw Boli Bolingoli and Jonny Hayes. The latter has proven to be immensely reliable, but the former is still struggling. Despite signing for £3million from Rapid Vienna (Scottish Sun), Boli isn’t looking comfortable in this Celtic team, and had a nightmare against Rangers on December 29th.
So it’s fair to say that Taylor has his eyes fixated on securing the left-back berth. Speaking to the Celtic View (Volume 55, Issue 15, Page 23), Taylor touched on his hopes post-Dubai.
“The time in Dubai was massively important for me. I’m trying to make a claim for a regular place in the team and the manager and coaching staff can get a good look at us in that week of training.
“You’re being watched closely by the gaffer and it’s a good chance to impress and hopefully be in his plans now that we’re back. I went out to Dubai early and did a wee bit of work ahead of starting training because my aim for the second half of the season is to kick right on.
“I came here to play games. I don’t want to be just a part of the squad, I want to be an integral part of the squad and play every game. That’s what my aim is and I hope I’ve impressed enough in Dubai so that I can do that.”
Nothing to dislike about Taylor’s attitude
This is the kind of stuff we as supporters love to see. Heading out to the training camp early and getting some extra work done speaks volumes of Taylor’s character.
You also can’t help but feel he must smell an opportunity here. When you consider the poor form of Boli and the fact that Hayes is generally a squad player, the spot is there for Taylor to grab. He clearly doesn’t have any eyes on departing in January in any case.
Neil Lennon will select his first Celtic team post-winter break on Saturday against Partick Thistle. If Taylor is in it, it’ll be a massive shot in the arm for him. If it’s once again Boli, it’ll surely be demoralising regardless of what he says.
That’s what makes this game against Partick more intriguing. It’s a chance to see what Lenny has spotted in Dubai and what he believes needs tweaked.
It’s well beyond time that Taylor got his chance in the squad, however. He’s been going about his business at the club without any complaints, and has done well enough when he’s been given the odd appearance.
Hopefully, January has proven to be his most productive period in a Celtic jersey. And, taking into account his own opinion, nothing less than taking Boli’s place from him will be deemed successful.