Monday, August 8, 2022

A Controversial Decision But The Best One – Why Celtic Should Drop This Star

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

Celtic managed to come back home with all three points from Dens Park this Saturday but it was far from a convincing display from the Hoops. With the kind of form they are in from the start of the season, they were expected to thrash struggling Dundee but that has not been the case. The Bhoys could only manage a 1-0 win with their skipper Scott Brown scoring the winner.

However, no matter how strong the team is, you cannot expect your side to have a rout week in week out. Narrow wins like these separate a good team from the champions. Celtic sit at the top of the table with 19 points from seven games holding a four-point lead over second-placed Aberdeen and that too with a game in hand. Rodgers deserves the plaudits for the amazing work he has done at Parkhead.

Brendan Rodgers will be very happy with the start he has had to his Celtic career. The 7-0 defeat at the hands of Barcelona was a dismal result for the Northern Irishman but the former Liverpool boss did very well to grind out a 3-3 draw against mighty Manchester City in the second game of the Champions League group stage.

As we approach the second international break this season, every manager will once again devote their time to take a look in the areas that went wrong so far this season. There are very few of them in the case of Brendan Rodgers, though. However, one thing he will have to sort out during the international break is who should be his main man up front.

Leigh Griffiths or Moussa Dembele? Who deserves to spearhead the Hoops’ attack on a weekly basis? This is definitely a question every Celtic fan will have on their minds right now. It is really unfortunate for Griffiths that this question arises even after 40-goal haul in the last season. This season also, the Scot did an excellent job up front before going down with a calf injury.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Moussa Dembele of Celtic celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Celtic FC and Manchester City FC at Celtic Park on September 28, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

It was a pretty big statement of intent from Celtic when they wrapped up the signing of highly-rated Moussa Dembele on a free transfer from Fulham this summer. Rodgers tried playing with him and Griffiths up front in the first few games but that did not work out and eventually, Dembele had to settle for a place on the bench. However, the young Frenchman stepped up big time to fill in the void of Griffiths when the Scot was absent with an injury.

We expected Griffiths to take his place up front from Dembele following his comeback from injury but Dembele, after his exceptional showing against Manchester City last week, made us have a serious second thought. We saw Rodgers, once again, opting for Dembele in the starting XI ahead of Griffiths against Dundee on Saturday.

Taking nothing away from young Dembele, we believe it should be Griffiths who should make the starting XI. He scored 30 goals in 32 appearances in the league for Celtic last term and was the driving force in their title-winning campaign. His blend of pace and power terrified defences across the Scottish Premiership as he proved just how good he can be.

Dembele lacks experience when compared to the 26-year-old and has not been consistently impressive so far. A hat-trick against Rangers and a brace against City are the reasons why there is so much fuss about him and it is well-deserved but Griffiths has done nothing wrong and has been more prolific.

Future is bright for Dembele but he still has a lot to learn and will get much better in coming days. But as of now, Celtic should welcome Griffiths back to the starting XI. With the kind of form Rogic, Sinclair and Forrest are in, reverting back to two strikers up front from a successful 4-2-3-1 system does not make much sense. So, it is Dembele who has to be sacrificed.

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