So Leigh Griffiths spat the dummy out of the pram last night as he was hooked by Brendan Rodgers on the 63rd Minute.
I’ll tell you what; if he lacked passion or commitment I’d be the first one to tell him to pack his bags.
But the over-reaction by certain individuals on Sky and some Celtic fans online was really poor.
It happens time and time again of football fields throughout the world.
The late, great Jimmy Johnstone threw a Celtic strip at Big Jock and no doubt he got his arse kicked like Leigh will too, and in private.
They key to Celtic’s success this season is a mixture of discipline, skill and downright hard work.
If anyone steps out of line, Brendan pounces and puts them back in their place. That was clearly visible last night on TV.
Sky “pundits” Kris Boyd and Andy Walker were absolutely creaming themselves at the prospect of Griff sitting out the Cup Final after his petulant hissy fit.
This is not happening as we learned in today’s press conference; Brendan knows he’s got a guy who’s a more natural finisher than Dembele, and his man management skills are second to none. He’s got the press dancing to his tune and answers difficult questions with consummate ease.
But as James pointed out earlier, he also knows how to handle his people.
The tweets below show you how well handled it was.
Griffiths has slotted in magnificently in Dembele’s absence.
The team needs him – he’s not only scoring but creating – it would be sheer lunacy to drop him, which is why Brendan won’t.
Much to the annoyance of others.
Sky’s resident soup-taker Andy Walker said: “That’s him just put his cup final place in jeopardy.”
Rodgers has clearly pissed in Andy’s soup and made him drink it. It’s the only explanation for how petty he is sometimes. Our manager is not nearly so thin-skinned or weak.
Even last night, Rodgers cleverly, and on camera defused the situation planting a smacker on the striker during the post-match celebrations
During the post-match interview with the broadcaster Sky Sports, Brendan said “Yeah, I think for a wee minute he just lost his show of selflessness for the team. He’s a good kid, he’s a good boy, all strikers they want to play 90 minutes, but for me it’s about the team. I’m looking to protect him, protect Boyata, protect some of the other players who haven’t played tonight, in order to make sure this team is successful.”
So much for the expectation that Brendan would draw a sword, and end this with a stroke.
The last sentence tells its own story.
Sky tried in vain to find a chink in Celtic’s armour. And failed.
What’s more annoying is our own fans turning on Griffiths.
This guy scored 40 goals last season and has bagged 63 goals in just 93 appearances in the Hoops.
Football fans are known to be extremely fickle, but I can’t abide this crap “he thinks he’s bigger than the club” style criticism.
Griffiths in no way does.
Yes, he’s a big wean at times but he also displays humility at other times.
Remember this, he scored twice in a 5-2 win against Hapoel Beer Sheva – a momentous result that saw Celtic reach their rightful place in the Champions’ League Group Stages. But that night was about more than his goals. He played for the team too. He was unselfish. He worked his balls off.
Brendan knows his value as a player.
Some of the tweets from Hoops fans are unfairly personal.
Some border on hysteria.
I’m wondering it these guys will redact their tweets?
Or do the right thing and put their hands up to their errors?
You could see by Griffiths demeanour that he knew he was in the wrong.
Rodgers spoke about having a long chat with him, but he went on to say he’ll play on Sunday and from the start.
Social media is a revolution but in the wrongs hands it can be detrimental; I’d only ask that before people vent their spleen they give a thought to what they are saying.
On a lighter note, not all fans joined in the hysterics and this one had me chuckling.
I knew last night that things would be patched up.
Mountains can of course be made out of molehills.
That’s how some in our media like it.
Gavin McCann is a huge Leigh Griffiths fan, who is dying to see him score in the cup final.