Friday, October 7, 2022

Three Weak Links In The Celtic Eleven That Lennon Must Drop To Put Up A Title Challenge

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

Reigning Premiership champions Celtic have arguably had one of the worst possible starts to their league campaign. Despite having played a game less, Neil Lennon’s men currently find themselves a whopping six points off Rangers at the top of the table, after the latest draw at Pittodrie against Aberdeen cost them a further two points on their Glasgow rivals. Steven Gerrard’s side, on the other hand, are seemingly beginning to find form, having picked up an unlikely yet important European win in midweek as well.

Celtic’s midweek game didn’t go to plan, as they were completely ripped to shreds by Italian giants AC Milan. While most will argue that the two sides played different levels of opposition, the Celtic faithful themselves claim to be on a different level to Rangers. That argument then, is completely invalid. Not just that, the loss to AC Milan wasn’t even their worst performance of the week. The Old Firm derby was last weekend, and it was undoubtedly a painful watch for the Celtic fans, but the extent to which they were dominated by their rivals, was a worrying sign to say the least.

Injuries have forced Lennon’s hand to a certain extent, but there were three players who featured in all of the Celts’ recent disappointments – against Rangers, AC Milan, and most recently Aberdeen. Although the blame can’t be placed entirely into this trio’s shoulders, the Hoops’ inability to break down teams has become a real concern. More worryingly, they have now conceded more goals in the last week, than they had until the derby, since the start of the season. Problems are aplenty, but there are three weak links in this Celtic team that need to be dropped at the earliest possible chance by Neil Lennon.

Three Weak Links In This Celtic Team That Need To Be Dropped - Duffy in action
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 27: Shane Duffy of Celtic battles for possession with Kevin Nisbet of Hibernian FC during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Hibernian at Celtic Park on September 27, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Three Weak Links In This Celtic Team That Need To Be Dropped

Mohamed Elyounoussi 

While most will argue that the Norwegian is the best attacking threat that this Celtic team possess, his shocking inconsistency is something that needs to be taken into consideration. Not only has the trickster failed to inject any sort of pace, but his lethargic approach to the game has cost the Hoops in various attacking situations. Yes, he did score the goal against Milan, but that adds nothing to his portfolio. Unless the winger’s general attitude and work-rate changes in the coming weeks, Lennon must drop him, especially considering that a spell out of the side could be exactly the kick that Elyounoussi needs to wake back up.

Olivier Ntcham

Even the most die-hard Celtic fans will likely struggle to think of a game this season where the Frenchman actually played well. The only leg up that Ntcham has over Elyounoussi is that he is consistent, but being poor consistently isn’t really helping the team’s cause in any manner. He passes the ball around well and positions himself neatly too, but considering that he is often deployed in the number ten role, it must be conceded that Ntcham’s end product has been extremely limited. With no pace, creativity, or intent seemingly on offer, dropping this 24-year-old should be a no-brainer for Lennon.

Shane Duffy 

The Irishman’s arrival was greeted with huge celebrations by the Celtic faithful, but a majority of them will surely be regretting that decision now. Not only has he been consistently dismal over the last few weeks, but it has reached a point where he has started to singlehandedly cost them goals. Pragmatic in his play and seriously lacking in pace and athleticism, finding a way around this absolute unit of a defender is becoming an easy task. Attackers and managers alike have started to realise that Duffy’s physical tendencies can be used to their advantage, and the smart move for Lennon to do right now would be to simply drop him, and admit that paying that ludicrous loan fee to Brighton was nothing but a mistake.

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