Celtic great Frank McAvennie has admitted that he’s “baffled” over David Turnbull’s lack of regular game-time at Parkhead this season.
Turnbull has come in and played in both of Celtic’s last two matches as the Hoops’ performances have started to pick up. Over the course of September and November, however, Neil Lennon only started Turnbull once despite the midfield being incredibly stagnant.
With massive pressure on Lennon to deliver results every single week now, the Northern Irishman has placed his faith in the former Motherwell starlet to get his engine room brimming again.
And after impressive displays against Lille and Kilmarnock respectively, the position automatically looks like his to lose. But for McAvennie, he can’t believe Lennon didn’t spot Turnbull’s quality sooner.
As quoted by the Glasgow Times, McAvennie said: “I couldn’t understand why they signed him then didn’t play him. I realise he had to get up to speed at Celtic, but he’s walked in against Lille and Kilmarnock and he doesn’t look out of place at all.
“It baffles me he wasn’t getting a game before now, but I’m delighted he’s taken his chance. You can’t pick players on Sunday just to give them a last hurrah. Turnbull and Soro have earned their place in the team for the final.”
Turnbull’s place to lose
The biggest compliment you can give Turnbull is that you aren’t surprised with the impact his introduction to the team has had on the club. Fresh off the winner against Lille, he came close on several occasions to notching another goal against Kilmarnock.
Yet it’s not only his scent for goal-scoring opportunities that’s impressed. His link-up play with Odsonne Edouard in particular has been a joy to watch, whilst the way he turns away from opposition midfielders is a refreshing trait for the Celtic midfield to have.
Everything about Turnbull screams pure quality at the minute. It’s no surprise that he’s the fresh injection we needed in the engine room. Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham have played their part regularly this season, but neither man has performed to any decent standard.
With Sunday’s Scottish Cup final against Hearts creeping up on us, you have to say there’s no reason to go dropping the talented midfielder. Not when we have a full week to prepare for the game. There should be no signs of fatigue and keeping up the momentum is important.
The likes of Brown, Ntcham, and Ryan Christie will all still get their medals even if they don’t play at Hampden this weekend. It’s essential Lennon makes the decision that’s right for the club and not the sentimental decision so his pals can get a game.
Hopefully this is reflected in the manager’s starting XI. If Turnbull in particular starts the game on the bench, you can’t imagine too many will be pleased.