Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths was looking to respond to recent critics with his celebration against Partick Thistle on Saturday night.
The Scotland international scored his first goal since August during the Scottish Cup tie, helping Neil Lennon’s team into the next round of the competition.
Putting his fingers in his ear after hitting the back of the net, there was a bit of symbolism in the aftermath.
It replicated a social media post he shared last week following the signing of Patryk Klimala. There’s been a lot of discussion about what the Polish U21 international’s arrival means for Griffiths, but the 29-year-old is adamant he can compete for places in the first-team.
Speaking in a press conference after Saturday’s win, Griffiths opened up on the meaning of his celebration, saying: “There are a lot of pundits and ex-pros who think my time at Celtic is finished. That’s a message to them.
“The only way I can shut them up is by scoring goals and playing well. My time at Celtic is far from finished, believe me, and hopefully this is just the start of a good run.
“I’ve had to bite my tongue, I’m not going to lie. I keep seeing the same things on social media and I get sent the same things. I’ve really had to bite my tongue.”
This could kickstart his season
With Lennon now showing a willingness to play both Odsonne Edouard and another striker, last night’s goal could prove to be a turning point in Griffiths’ season.
It’s great to see him have the platform to defend himself against media criticism after a positive contribution in an important Celtic match.
Those kinds of comments could ring hollow when he’s not making the team or scoring goals but he’s spot on to stick up for himself this time.
Although his goal was one you’d expect most players to stick away ten times out of ten, Griffiths was in the right place at the right time.
We need more of that penalty box hovering over the next few months.
It’s clear that Griffiths has a point to prove. If Lennon and his coaching staff can harness that in a positive way and tap into his lethal scoring instincts, he’ll be a massive asset.
The talent of a player who has scored over 100 goals for Celtic doesn’t disappear.