One interesting aspect of Celtic’s 5-0 win over Hearts on Wednesday night was that it was Ryan Christie’s first game at Celtic Park since the loss to Rangers in December.
Thankfully, the match against Hearts turned into a far more enjoyable experience for Christie than the derby.
He scored and provided an assist in the Hoops’ emphatic victory.
The goal was Christie’s 18th of the season, which is a remarkable return, especially for a player who isn’t a striker. He seems certain to smash through the 20 goal barrier this season.
Second top scorer this season
Christie is one of Celtic’s top scorers this season, only trailing Odsonne Edouard.
As Christie was probably Celtic’s best player in the first-half of the season, it is a real bonus for the Hoops that he doesn’t seem to have lost a step since returning from injury and suspension.
However, it should be noted that Christie didn’t start for the Hoops against Hearts. Indeed, his only start since the winter break has come against Clyde in the Scottish Cup.
That is how it should continue when the Hoops face Aberdeen on Sunday. Christie should start the game on the bench.
No current place in starting line-up
Celtic are playing so well in the current 3-5-2 formation that at the moment there just doesn’t seem to be a place for Christie in the starting line-up.
You could play him on the wing, but you wouldn’t get the best out of him.
At the moment, Christie’s midfield berth is taken by Olivier Ntcham,. He continued his good run of form with the opening goal against Hearts.
Ntcham is currently playing too well to be dropped, as is the rest of the midfield.
It is a great problem for Neil Lennon to have. The team is playing so well that the second top scorer can’t get into the starting line-up.
There is no doubt Christie will soon regain his place in the starting line-up, perhaps when Celtic revert to a 4-3-3 formation.
For the moment though, he should be left on the bench.