Lennon failed to mention it; but Ryan Christie will miss out for Celtic tonight

By David Walton

December 10, 2020

Celtic attacker Ryan Christie will miss tonight’s Europa League dead-rubber against Lille at Parkhead.

Everyone will remember the ridiculous challenge the Hoops man put in at the San Siro that ended up with Hakan Calhanoglu rattling home a free-kick. However, the challenge itself also resulted in Christie receiving a booking.

That unfortunately took the flair-player to a total of three yellow cards for the group stage. In UEFA rules, that means Christie will have to carry out a one-match suspension that will kick in tonight (UEFA).

When Neil Lennon ran through his squad options for tonight’s game in his pre-match presser, he omitted the mention of Christie. But you definitely shouldn’t expect to see him lining up against the Ligue 1 side tonight.

That could pave the way for a reintroduction to the team for Olivier Ntcham if Tom Rogic is also left out.

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Christie’s European spark never came

For a player with the ambition of Christie, he’ll be incredibly disappointed with his lack of a European spark this season. He may look and see his two assists against AC Milan as proof he hasn’t been anywhere near the worst on the pitch, but you expected more from him this season.

Against the likes of Sparta Prague, Christie should be one of the Celtic players who are grabbing that game by the scruff of the neck and creating chances regularly.

But it’s been a disappointing Europa campaign for the former Inverness talent. Overall in Europe this season, taking qualifiers into account, Christie has one goal and four assists in nine games. You can look at five goal contributions in nine games and be impressed, but there’s still been a problem with his final ball in recent weeks.

Ryan Christie in action for Celtic vs Milan / (Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/SNS Group via Getty Images)

How often have we seen Christie find space down the flanks only for a cross to over everyone’s head? How often has his final ball been too heavy or intercepted? These are problems he has to rectify to take his game to the next level.

Whether Christie will even be here next season to make an impact for Celtic in Europe is anyone’s guess. It’s looking more and more likely that there’s going to be a bit of an exodus in the summer with so many players entering the final 12 months of their contracts.

But when Christie reflects on his European campaign, there simply must be plenty of regret there.

In other news, one Celtic star has opened up on his isolation in Scotland.