Weah tried to cool controversy on Celtic exit; he's fooling nobody

By David Walton

December 10, 2020

Timothy Weah may have tried to downplay the controversy involving his Celtic exit 18 months ago, but he’s not fooling anyone.

Weah was a fan-favourite at Parkhead after Brendan Rodgers signed him on loan from PSG in January 2019. He was a regular under Rodgers before he left for Leicester and Neil Lennon took over. Weah’s game-time subsquently took a bit of a dip, as he was often only used as a back-up under the current boss.

Then, come May that year, Weah was called up for the United States under-20s for their World Cup competition. This directly clashed with the Scottish Cup final, and Lennon decided to cut his deal short despite him still being able to play in the rest of our league games (including a Glasgow derby).

Weah’s comments at the time raised an eyebrow when he said: “The gaffer told me it is in the best interest of the team that I collect my things and go home.” (BBC). It was blunt and didn’t reflect the manager in a good light.

Yesterday, the USA international moved to dismiss any controversy surrounding the incident.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Timo said: “When I was at Celtic we had fun, training was fun and we were a winning team and top of the league. The coaching staff was amazing to me as a person and as a player.

“They took the time to work with me and the bond that we had as a team and the coaching staff was amazing. Neil was great to me, I left the club in a bit of a rush because of the World Cup and things happen but overall he was a great coach and we loved him.”

Weah will be itching to prove Lennon wrong

Weah has always been such an enthusiastic and infectious character. He does his best here to talk up Lennon despite his exit, but there was nothing too savoury about it at the time.

Supporters were left fuming with the decision at the time too, especially considering it was quickly followed by an insipid 2-0 defeat at Ibrox just days later (Daily Express).

But there’s no way Weah steps out onto that pitch tonight thinking he doesn’t have a point to prove. Not when he looks across to the dugout and sees the manager that told him it would be best for the club if he left. Perhaps this kind of things don’t affect Timo, but that’s difficult to believe. He’s as feisty a competitor as you can get when he wants to be (remember his celebrations in front of Greg Taylor and Jordan Jones at Rugby Park?)

Timothy Weah playing for Lille (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Lille boss Christophe Galtier confirmed on the club’s official website that Weah will start tonight, so he’s certainly going to have time to make an impact.

Celtic’s defence has been caught out for its slow reactions this season, and that could be a problem against a player like Weah whose only goal is to get forward and run in-behind backlines. His pace will cause an extreme challenge for whoever Neil plays at the back this evening.

Let’s see how this goes. But does Weah have a message to send to Lennon? You better believe it.

In other news, a youngster Rodgers was “so impressed” with was spotted in first-team training yesterday.