John McGinn has been dropped from the Hibs team for tonight’s Europa League tie amidst suggestions that his time at Easter Road is drawing to a close. This is a huge development and seems to suggest that it’s now in the best interests of their team to end all speculation about this kid’s future at the earlier opportunity.
Celtic will take some flak for this, of course, and some might even argue that we deserve it.
But the impression that Rod Petrie is playing games here is one that’s not just confined to Celtic sites, but is a growing one inside Hibs itself.
I want this deal done quickly, but not at the expense of letting Petrie do a number on us.
Brendan Rodgers wants it done quickly, as he likes the player a lot. John McGinn wants it done quickly so he can concentrate on his football again. This will have unsettled him, of course it would. But more than any of them, Neil Lennon wants it done quickly.
As a manager, he knows how difficult it is to motivate a player who’s head is already somewhere else and whilst McGinn is not the sort to down tools and try to orchestrate a move – or at least, I hope he isn’t as I don’t want a player like that at Parkhead – there’s no denying that this one has messed with his internal wiring somewhat.
But it’s also messed with Lennon’s plans for the team, plans for which he needs cold, hard cash and like Brendan he’s not willing to wait until January for it. If the McGinn deal is done quickly it gives him money to spend. If it includes a player, like Scott Allan, then even better.
Otherwise Lennon suffers as much as anyone here, and he knows it.
Celtic will have to be realistic and respectful to the Easter Road club; I said this two articles on this subject ago. But Hibs too will have to weigh up the odds, and it does nobody any good for this situation to drag on until after Christmas.
Both clubs need to get a grip here and try and come to some sort of agreement that doesn’t leave either angry.
Petrie is not just playing games with us here, he’s jeopardising the relationship with his own manager now and that’s about as stupid as you can be.