Penalties have been a bit of a problem for Celtic this season. Ryan Christie has been the Hoops’ designated taker, and he has missed two this season.
He scored the rebound after missing his first of the season, in a 4-1 win over Ross County. However, his second miss proved to be costly, as with the score in the last Glasgow derby nil-nil, Christie had his first-half effort saved by Allan McGregor.
As everyone knows, the Hoops ended up losing the game 2-1.
The penalty situation took a new twist when the Hoops were awarded a spot kick on Saturday against Ross County, when Mikey Johnston was fouled in the penalty box.
Scored penalty in style
Who would step up? The answer was Callum McGregor. McGregor took the ball, placed it on the spot, and he guided the ball into the corner of the net.
That was the goal the Hoops needed, and it helped Celtic on the way to a 3-0 win.
McGregor’s goal should lead to one thing – his being awarded the permanent role of Celtic’s penalty taker.
Displayed good leadership skills
The fact that he was willing to stand-up and take the penalty shows good leadership skills, and it would not be a shock if he was named Celtic’s captain when Scott Brown retires.
That is for the future though. At the moment, McGregor should be the man in position of the ball any time Celtic are given a spot kick.
The fact that he is a mainstay in the side should also help his prospects for penalties. He is very rarely out of the team, so he should be available when needed to do the necessary from the spot.
Celtic might not have played well for large spells of the first-half in particular against Ross County, but the most important thing was winning game, and should the Hoops have found their new penalty taker that’s an even bigger bonus.