"He hasn't proved anyone wrong"; Former Celtic boss Neil Lennon hits back at Leigh Griffiths

By John McGinley

June 24, 2021

Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon has responded to Leigh Griffiths after the striker spoke about his fitness last season.

Griffiths was on BBC Radio Scotland yesterday discussing all sorts of Celtic matters, including his desire to impress under new boss Ange Postecoglou.

Although the forward admitted his fitness initially wasn’t good enough last season, he suggested he could have been played more by Lennon across the piece. [Daily Record]

However, the former Celtic boss has responded today and he doesn’t sound particularly happy.

He told BBC Radio Scotland: “He did let himself down. He was on full pay for the three months lockdown. He comes back totally out of condition and a stone overweight. He couldn’t afford to be.

“He was way, way behind the rest of them. For me, that was totally unacceptable.

“He’s trying to make out it’s alright but it’s not. He’s saying he’s proved people wrong but he hasn’t proved anyone wrong. He’s not at the level of being a Champions League player, he didn’t make the Scotland squad. You have to ask why.

Lennon went on to cast doubt on his ability to bounce back at Celtic, stating: “To play at the top level, the European level, he’s got a lot to do. A hell of a lot to do. Even if he is in decent condition he hasn’t got the pace anymore. He needs to be slimline, sharp, that’s his game.

“The bottom line is if I had a fit and hungry Leigh Griffiths last season he’d have played because I signed him. We worked incredibly hard with him.”

These are pretty candid comments as the fall out of last season at Celtic continues to be re-litigated and discussed.

The club is in a mode of moving forward, but Lennon wants to keep getting his point across about what went wrong last term. That’s his prerogative.

Postecoglou will make his own decisions of course. It’ll be very interesting to see if he can get anything out of the Celtic striker. Like Lennon, I’m not convinced.

In other news, Former Celtic boss Neil Lennon clashes with SFA chief exec live on air.