Celtic winger Marian Shved made a rare appearance today, but he’d already ended a barren spell before he even came onto the pitch.
Indeed, the Ukrainian came into the game against Clyde today having not made a single matchday squad in any of our last 23 matches.
Shved’s last outing came in our 6-0 demolition of Ross County back in October (Transfermarkt). Since then, he hasn’t been seen in any of our 18-man squads. That’s despite the fact that Neil Lennon had mixed things up against the likes of Rennes and Cluj in the Europa League.
Today, he was given just over five minutes to make an impression at Broadwood Stadium. He actually did too, as he went on one good run down the right as well as coming close to notching a goal before tripping at a key moment.
Scant consolation for Shved, but he’ll take whatever he can get
It’s not ideal to only get a few minutes, but Shved will take whatever game-time he can get. Certainly when you consider the roller-coaster period he’s had recently.
Remember, Shved was praised by Lennon after the winter break in Dubai. In fact, the Celtic manager stated that he was ready to “explode” into contention when it came to game-time (The Herald).
Yet his time in the good books didn’t last long. At the start of February, Lennon revealed that Shved hadn’t been training to the levels of the rest of the squad. He also announced his intention to drop him from the Europa League squad to make way for new faces such as Patryk Klimala and Ismaila Soro (Daily Record).
So you could’ve previously put up an argument for Shved not playing whatsoever for the rest of the season. If Lennon truly felt that he wasn’t performing to the level of everyone else, that’s quite the accusation.
Instead, he was given a rare outing against Clyde. Had Lenny seriously had it in for the Ukrainian, that spot could’ve gone to the likes of Ewan Henderson or Karamoko Dembele. His inclusion today can’t be viewed as anything other than positive.
Granted, he’ll likely drop back out of the matchday squads once again, but here’s hoping the end of his barren run of games without inclusion is a beacon of hope.