Boli Bolingoli’s position in the Celtic team now looks under more threat than it ever has been.
The Belgian has now failed to feature in any of our three matches since returning to domestic action. He was on the bench against Partick Thistle, but hasn’t made any of our first two league matches since the resumption (Transfermarkt).
Neil Lennon hasn’t confirmed any injury concerns with Boli. In all of his injury briefings, the summer-signing from Rapid Vienna hasn’t been given a single mention. If there was something wrong with his fitness all of a sudden, Lennon would surely have told us by now.
Therefore, we have to believe that he just isn’t being fancied at the moment. Instead, he’s had to watch on as Greg Taylor and Jonny Hayes take his place in the team.
It also doesn’t help Boli that all three games have been of a different variety. We had the routine Scottish Cup match against Partick Thistle before a tricky away-day at Kilmarnock. Finally, we wrapped things up with a comfortable-looking afternoon against Ross County. Yet Lenny hasn’t felt the need to play Boli in any of them. You wonder just what challenge Lennon feels is suitable for him.
Lennon needs for someone to stand out
What all three of Celtic’s left-backs give you is a power of running. You won’t ever be able to complain about a lack of effort in any of them. The problem is, you could genuinely question the lack of quality.
Boli was dropped, you would imagine, due to his dreadful performance against Rangers on December 29th. Constantly giving the ball away in good areas and failing to rise to the occasion led to a disappointing afternoon for him.
But since then, despite being dropped out of the team and squad, nobody has stood out. Taylor was nothing more than decent at Partick. Whilst he looked tidier on the ball than the man he replaced, he didn’t offer much in the way of an attacking threat, with much of Celtic’s threat coming from Jeremie Frimpong down the other flank.
And then against Kilmarnock and County, Hayes was drafted in and also failed to shine. Again, he did plenty of charging down the left flank. He would genuinely run through a brick wall for Celtic. Yet despite that, he joins Taylor in failing to make the position his own.
So if there is a glimmer of light for Boli, it’s just that. Nobody has managed to take his place and demand they stay in it. When Celtic face St Johnstone on Wednesday night at McDiarmid Park, it’s anybody’s guess as to who Lennon goes for.
However, with Boli missing out on the last three squads, it’s the first time in his Celtic career when his position is under serious threat. It all depends on whether we have the quality currently at the club to displace him.