Kenny Dalglish believes Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths is in for close examination in Wales
Kenny Dalglish believes Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths will go under a thorough examination in Wales this week by Ange Postecoglou.
Griffiths was handed a new one-year deal by the new Celtic boss. That’s despite the fact the former Hibs man hasn’t scored 20 goals in a single season since 2015/16.
Postecoglou confirmed his reasons for the new deal by pointing to Griffiths’ goal record and stating that he deserves an opportunity to show he can work to the new boss’ methods.
Celtic, meanwhile, are preparing to head down to Wales tomorrow for a nine-day training camp at “world-class” facilities [Celtic Website]. And Dalglish believes it could be a rigorous exercise for Griff in particular after being entrusted by the manager.
“Leigh will be under scrutiny”
As quoted by the Sunday Post, Dalglish said: “Leigh Griffiths should probably still be able to claim the main striker role this season, and it shouldn’t be beyond him to be a proper asset to the team and bang in the goals.
“I’d imagine it must have been a difficult call for the new Parkhead manager to make, even if the deal is on vastly-reduced terms, and heavily incentive-based. The ball is very much now in Leigh’s court, and it’s up to him to make the most of this opportunity.
“I’m sure Ange would have spoken to many people – such as coaches John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan – about Leigh, and watched over lots of video footage before deciding to give the go-ahead to the new contract. The archives would have been full of Leigh’s goals, and there is no doubt his stats are impressive since he was signed for Celtic eight years ago by Neil Lennon for around £1 million from Wolves.
“That will every much be the view of Ange, and Leigh will be under scrutiny at the training camp at Celtic Manor when they head to Wales.”
Kenny Dalglish not wrong, but every Celtic player will be under close scrutiny
Dalglish is spot on with his core point here. It was a major decision from Postecoglou to put his trust in Leigh. Especially when you consider the mixed reaction to the deal by the Celtic support.
If Ange goes on to fail at the club, these are the kind of decisions that will be thrown in his face. However, he is the manager, and if we’re going to put our own faith into the Greek-Australian tactician, we have to trust the choices he makes for his squad.
However, as for the pre-season training camp, Griffiths isn’t the only one who’ll be in for a close examination. Postecoglou will need to run the rule over absolutely everyone.
That isn’t a throwaway remark. The manager needs to gain a stronger understanding of which players will be most suited to his playing style. It’s not as if he can rely on this entire squad. There needs to be some major changes, and Wales gives Postecoglou the opportunity to do that.
Of course, Griffiths will indeed be under close watch by everyone this season. As well as the manager, the fans will be demanding a solid return from him after the disgrace of a campaign we endures last season.
We’ll see if Griff can show the kind of levels we know he can reach this season. But if he doesn’t? There truly would be no coming back.