Celtic icon Martin O’Neill was bursting with praise for Odsonne Edouard after a sensational hat-trick on opening day this afternoon.
The Hoops hammered Hamilton 5-1 at Parkhead to kickstart their Premiership campaign in emphatic fashion. Not many would’ve bet against Edouard netting today, but he was keen to show his quality as he bagged three goals before the hour mark.
Jeremie Frimpong and Patryk Klimala also got on the scoresheet, but it was Edouard who will take all of the headlines as the Hoops soared to the top of the Premiership on matchday one.
And O’Neill was certainly impressed with what the Frenchman had to offer on the day. Speaking on Sky Sports’ live coverage of the game (Sky Sports Football, 02/08 at 18:40), the Northern Irishman said the following:
“He’s brilliant, absolutely brilliant. He must be the best (best striker since the Henrik Larsson/John Hartson era). I think that there’s so much to his game as well. He’s got the ability to hold the ball up as well.
“Some goalscorers can just score goals, but he’s got the ability, got the strength, got the power, and he looks as if he’s got everything to his game.
“He’s a terrific footballer, a really terrific footballer.”
Not just Edouard who lit things up today
It’s natural to always nod towards the man who bagged a hat-trick when a team wins so comfortably. After all, you don’t score hat-tricks at this level unless you’re a top-quality footballer, regardless of any bashing the Premiership gets from the outside.
However, Edouard also has his team-mates to thank for their roles in his goals this afternoon. Two of them you could define as tap-ins that were made possible through the hard work of the likes of Jeremie Frimpong, Greg Taylor, and James Forrest.
It’s this kind of selflessness from his team-mates that will see Celtic reap even more success this season. Edouard will always get into goalscoring positions, but it’s imperative that the final ball is continuously at a high level at Parkhead.
Next up for Edouard and co is a trip to Kilmarnock in what looks a tricky fixture as we get set for our first away match of the season. With Rangers winning in Aberdeen yesterday, this is arguably Celtic’s first real test of the campaign.
However, if the delivery from the wide areas is as good next week as it was today, Celtic will be absolutely fine.
And if Edouard keeps his shooting boots on and the club rejects any advances from the big-money vultures, this could be one of the most memorable seasons in our lifetimes.