Neil Lennon mustn't move James Forrest back to the left

By Hamish Carton

January 30, 2020

Many Celtic fans may be worried about the possibility of James Forrest being shunted back to the left-wing, after Neil Lennon revealed that Mikey Johnston’s injury was a “long-term one”.

Johnston hobbled off, shortly after coming on, during last night’s 3-0 win over St. Johnstone.

Not a great deal was known about the extent of the injury until earlier today when Lennon informed press (via Clyde Superscoreboard on Twitter).

News of Johnston’s latest injury setback is likely to worry the Hoops support a little more than it would have a month ago.

Since the beginning of January we have sold Scott Sinclair to Preston North End, while another left-winger Lewis Morgan has as good as signed for MLS outfit Inter Miami.

Scott Sinclair and Lewis Morgan (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

That, and the continued absence of Mohamed Elyounoussi, means that we are suddenly struggling for anybody who can play on the left.

Lennon must learn his Forrest lesson from sluggish December

During the month of December, while Elyounoussi was also missing, Lennon often opted to play Forrest on the left with Ryan Christie on the right.

Although we won every game the system was tried, we looked less than convincing in many of the fixtures like away to St. Mirren and at home to Aberdeen where we won by single goals.

Forrest seems to enjoy playing on the right more, as was shown in his goal and assist in Perth last night, both of which came from that area of the pitch.

Forrest after scoring against Cluj (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Christie also seems to have a far bigger impact on the games, with just one goal notched in his last five games while playing on the right.

Lennon also has Daniel Arzani who could fill the gap, or Jonny Hayes. However, he is often reluctant to give fringe players an opportunity in attacking areas – as has been shown by the absence of Arzani and Marian Shved for virtually all of this season.