Media putdown of Celtic youngster could be left looking daft

By Euan Davidson

January 7, 2021

As far as Celtic are concerned, there are always media figures for relentless comment.

When we’re good, we’re “not that good”. When we’re bad, it’s “collapse” this, “crisis” that. There is never an in-between, and the age where a player could just be “alright” is long gone.

In the social media era, footballers are either amazing, or Your Nan could beat them. It’s sad to see many media outlets, old and new, going the same way.

That leads us to comments that Charlie Adam made on PLZ Soccer’s Football Show yesterday. Leaving aside the programme’s incredibly clunky title, Adam’s comments on Jeremie Frimpong were somewhat misguided.

Adam said:

“Your Frimpong, I don’t think he’s good enough.

“Yes, he’s good going forward but defensively I don’t think he’s at the level everybody thinks he is.

“If you look at the number of players who might want away if they lose 10-in-a-row, you’re looking at a brand new team.”

That’s the same Jeremie Frimpong who has recently been linked with a £13.5m move to Serie A giants AS Roma (Daily Record).

 

Jeremie Frimpong was purposeful for Celtic against Dundee United / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Plenty of time for Celtic youngster Frimpong

It’s worth remembering that Jeremie Frimpong is 20. He hadn’t experienced first-team football until late 2019 (Transfermarkt).

Despite his tender age, Frimpong has been a vital part of a treble-winning side. At the start of December, we were encouraged by his displays further up the park. However, his recent defensive output shows that he’s constantly improving and is worth the club’s investment.

Before the Rangers game, in which he didn’t disgrace himself, he’d been an outstanding player for Celtic. With Neil Lennon seemingly picking him as his first-choice right-back, Frimpong’s tackling, dribbles and general play improved.

For example, against Hamilton on Boxing Day, the young Dutchman made 4 tackles and finished with an 88% pass success rate (WhoScored?). In the following game against Dundee United, he dribbled the ball 5 times, and made 4 tackles again, in a dominant display.

The Celtic youngster is becoming increasingly defensively aware, as well as improving his ball-winning. His attacking talents are obvious, but he’s rapidly improving as a right-back. Anyone watching Celtic over the last two months could see that fairly easily.

To write off a 20-year-old while he’s on good form is simply baffling. If people had written off Charlie Adam at that age, he’d have missed out on a career that saw him sign for Liverpool and win Scotland caps.

Frimpong and Adam are very different players of course, but to discredit the young Dutch wing-back at such a young age is plain strange.

If this is the quality of punditry in Scotland, then that’s a worry. It either shows that pundits are being paid to commentate on football without actually watching games, or that bias is king.

We’re not sure which is worse.