Celtic fans shouldn't worry about Lennon's use of Christie and Forrest

By John McGinley

December 23, 2019

One of the stranger trends in Neil Lennon’s Celtic team in recent matches has been his use of star players Ryan Christie and James Forrest.

Traditionally an attacking central midfielder, Christie has instead be pushed out to the right, with Forrest shifting over to the left flank from his usual right-wing role.

This has occurred against Aberdeen, Hearts and Ross County already this month, with Forrest also played on the left against Hibs.

It’s proven to be rather controversial, with some fans taking to social media to share their continuing disappointment with the selection calls.

However, if you have any concerns yourself about it all, rest easy knowing the Lennon knows it’s far from the ideal way he wants his starting eleven to shape up.

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Speaking in a press conference last Friday, the manager made it clear that it’s only because of the fitness of Mikey Johnston and Mohamed Elyounoussi, who both play on the left, that he’s currently persisting with this plan.

As quoted by Celtic’s YouTube channel, he said of his Christie use: “It’s because Moi and Mikey have been out of the picture for a while. We’ve had Jamesey on the left which again isn’t ideal but he’s brilliant there as well.

“While it’s not perfect, it’s functioned very, very well and Ryan is quite happy to play out there.

“Ideally I see him as a number 10 and I’ve always thought that. Ideally I’d want Jamesey on the right, another winger on the left and Ryan in centrally. That’s the way we see things going forward.”

(Photo by Paul Ursachi/MB Media/Getty Images)

With Johnston coming off the bench on Saturday and getting more match fitness in his legs it looks like the days are counting down to Lennon utilising his players in exactly the way he wants.

That could be a significant boost to our ability to take opportunities in front of goal. We’ve been creating chances recently but haven’t been quite converting at the level expected when we’re really on top of teams.

With everyone in their right place, it could all flow rather naturally.

Will Lennon make it all happen against Rangers this weekend? It’d certainly be the fixture to pick a selection that helps the team unleash their full potential.