Twitter reacted the way only Twitter can to Neil Lennon once again bringing on Jonny Hayes against Clyde yesterday.
Celtic had the game wrapped up at Broadwood. We were 2-0 ahead midway through the second-half with not a lot left to play for. Clyde had pretty much given up the ghost and the game was really needing an injection of flair to get another for Celtic.
Lenny had his options too. The likes of Marian Shved, Vakoun Bayo, and Leigh Griffiths were all on the bench. Even Ismaila Soro was there and ready to be brought on for a debut appearance.
However, Lenny went to the old tried and tested in Hayes. Some fans were therefore quick to let him know on social media that there were other, perhaps more imaginative options available too:
Shved, right wing: on the bench.
Hayes, left wing/back: on the bench.
Forrest right wing: subbed off
JONNY HAYES ON
— The sellik Faithful (@SellikThe) February 9, 2020
Everybody: 2 up coasting good chance to try out a few players that haven’t featured
Lennon: let’s put Jonny Hayes on in another new position
— Paul Gill (@paulg1986) February 9, 2020
Jonny Hayes is on. Yaaaaaay.
— Barty (@BartinOfficial) February 9, 2020
Nice wee run out for Celtic youngster Jonny Hayes! Big future ahead of this boy.
— 🏴 (@Rogic67_) February 9, 2020
Jonny Hayes, plays left back behind Boli and now Taylor comes on at right mid when Shved is on the bench 🤷🏼♂️😂
— shev (@shev__1985) February 9, 2020
Jonny Hayes coming on is now a signal for me to leave a game.
— Peter Dickson (@peterdickson06) February 9, 2020
— Dominik Diamond (@DominikDiamond) February 9, 2020
Does Lenny get a cut of Jonny Hayes appearance fee?
— K9Tendentious 🏴🇪🇺 (@K9Dug) February 9, 2020
Neil Lennon 🤝 Jonny Hayes
— Seàn Walsh (@seancolmwalsh) February 9, 2020
Shved, Soro, Bayo on the bench and Neil Lennon brings on Jonny Hayes, 2-0 up against clyde. Ridiculous man.
— Adn (@MagicAdn) February 9, 2020
Hard to question the manager
It’s difficult to even question Lennon this season about anything given his success. After all, of his 45 games this season, the manager has succeeded in winning 38 of them.
Hayes, however, has been subbed on this season on 14 occasions (Transfermarkt). Whilst nobody can deny what he brings to the table, there is an argument there to say that at times we could be doing with something a tad fresher.
For example, when Celtic were 2-0 ahead at Clyde, it seemed the perfect time to give Soro his debut. Sure the weather was poor and the pitch was plastic, but he’s been playing football with Bnei Yehuda during the first half of the season. He shouldn’t take long to get his match-sharpness up.
Shved, meanwhile, looked decent enough in the final five minutes he was on for. He made a positive run down the right and also came close to scoring. As well as that, Shved also played a key role in Vakoun Bayo’s goal. It would’ve been nice to have seen a bit more from him.
You just wonder at times what it is we’re getting when we bring Hayes on in games like this. Granted, there are times when his inclusion is necessary. If we’re being penned in and need an extra defender, or go down to 10 men and need a reliable runner, Hayes is perfect. But when you’re cruising at Clyde and need a bit more invention? It’s a little odd.
Still, it’s nothing to get too worried about. The wins keep flowing for Celtic, and Hayes himself continues to put in reliable shifts every time he features.