Maryan Shved’s surprise suspension has come as a shock, but it’s no real blow for Celtic or the player.
The Ukrainian winger was sent off in his final game for Karpaty Lviv whilst on loan. He was red carded against Arsenal Kyiv as Karpaty remained in the midst of a tough relegation battle.
When the transfer window opens on June 11th, the SFA will request international clearance from Ukraine. It’s then that the Ukrainian FA will apparently advise them that he should serve a one-match suspension (Scottish Sun).
What it means is that Shved wouldn’t be able to feature on Flag Day this season. But, for both the club and the player, is this really that much of a blow?
Several obvious reasons this doesn’t matter
First off, with regards to the game itself, you would fancy Celtic strongly. The Hoops have won their last 10 matches on Flag Day. The last time they slipped up was a 0-0 draw at home to Kilmarnock back in 2008. Slipping up, at Celtic Park whilst filled to capacity, doesn’t seem too likely.
Then there’s the fact that Shved likely wouldn’t start the game anyway. Neil Lennon will have plenty of cover in James Forrest and the forgotten Daniel Arzani. In terms of squad selection, Celtic will actually be spoilt for choice when the season begins down the right flank.
The biggest blow you would imagine would be for Shved personally. A key chance to impress Lennon early on this season could be wiped away from him due to his red card.
Plenty of time for Shved to impress
But the Premiership opener isn’t the first match Shved can feature in for Celtic. Lennon’s men will (hopefully) have four Champions League qualification matches before the league campaign begins. That gives Shved plenty of time to make an impression on Lennon and the supporters.
If the Ukrainian winger proves himself to be a real asset and forces his way into the side early, missing out the league opener gives him a chance at some rest before hopefully making an impact in the next Champions League qualification match, should we get there.
It could also allow Arzani the chance to impress in the league opener too. Forrest would be likely to start, but the Aussie is another who’ll be itching for a chance.
So it’s fair to say it’s no disaster. Shved will get plenty of opportunities, with plenty of big games occurring in the first couple of months of the season.