Leigh Griffiths’ personal issues saw him miss most of last season, and the striker stated that he felt he let his team-mates down a tad because of it.
Griffiths told the Celtic View that it was mixed emotions for him watching the Bhoys dig deep in the closing stages of the league campaign. Celtic managed to race away from Rangers to eventually win the Scottish Premiership by a cool nine-point margin.
Meanwhile, Griffiths had more important matters to deal with. His time off allowed him the chance to get his head right. Celtic, even at this early stage of the season, appear to be reaping the rewards of the break too.
But Griffiths stated that he was still frustrated to miss out on the run-in last season, and that joining in on trophy day brought a tinge of guilt. Speaking to the View (Volume 55, Issue 4, Page 19), Griff said the following:
“It was mixed emotions for me (trophy day and the run-in). You want to be involved because it’s a team game and you were involved in the first six months.
“But then again, the boys dug deep in the last six months and that’s the hardest part in getting it over the line. I maybe felt like I’d let them down a little bit. But I got invited on to the pitch with the boys and the rest of the squad. I was delighted to be involved.
“You see the number of people now who aren’t speaking up and are taking their own lives. That’s a real shame. I’m glad I ended up speaking out, and I’m glad I took the time off that I did. It’s been a bit of a struggle to get back, but it’s a road that I’ve gladly taken.”
Leigh Griffiths did anything but let Celtic down
Griff is looking at it the right way when he talks about being glad with his road to recovery. He has to look out for himself first and foremost, and his decision was most certainly the correct one.
The Scotland international could’ve said nothing and things let things get even worse. On the pitch, meanwhile, he wouldn’t have been feeling himself and things could easily have spiraled in a downward trajectory.
What he’s done here is actually stand up for himself and, by doing so, standing up for his club’s interests. He also has to remember that he made a fine contribution during the first half of last season.
His last-minute header against Rosenborg at Celtic Park effectively put us on the path to Europa League progression. He also nabbed big strikes against the likes of Partick Thistle and St Johnstone to secure cup progression. Sure, his impact was minimised due to his issues, but Griffiths played his part in the treble last season. And it’s important he realises that too.
And by speaking out and getting help, it’s going to give Celtic a much more focused and mentally strong player this season. He has nothing to feel guilty about, especially his impact last season.
Nobody would say Griff didn’t make the right decision. Credit to him for continuing to speak out about it, but did he let us down last season? Don’t be silly.