What have I been saying about Odsonne Edouard? The best striker in Scotland by a mile. The petulant child at Ibrox and the creaking Defoe couldn’t lace his boots. When the pressure is on, and the stakes are high, Odsonne Edouard delivers in spades.
His penalty at the weekend was cool, calm and collected.
A journo asked him at the end of the game if he felt nervous taking it, and he said, “No I am never nervous.”
And how it shows.
It was the first thing I noticed about Dembele as well; the night at Celtic Park where he scored his first goal, the last minute winner against Astana. At his age, under that much scrutiny … talk about impressive. Odsonne has all that swagger, and a deadly eye for goal.
The second, of course, was magical. The awareness, the technical skill required, the way he drops his head just before he hits the ball … he’s decided what he’s going to do with it, and he wants to just focus on getting the execution absolutely spot on.
What a finish it was. The one moment of absolute class in what was an otherwise frustrating game to watch. He hovered on the edge of the defence all day just waiting for that perfect moment to present itself, and he exploited the situation in the blink of an eye.
That is what the truly great players do, and what a talent this kid is.
Watching him grow into the role this season has been a genuine pleasure. Anticipating what he’ll do in the next one, now that he’s got a campaign under his belt – and a successful one at that – is mouth-watering, especially if Lennon changes up the team and pairs him with a target man.
The winner came from a through ball … a big striker playing beside him can knock those kind of balls down to him all day long, and even if he’s surrounded by players he has the skill to get away from them, and he will find the space to punish the slightest mistake.
The Hearts defence was scared to death every time he got the ball, and the second he took it wide as the keeper came out to get it on Saturday I was screaming “penalty” before the contact was even made. Hearts played 1940’s football at the weekend and got what they deserved from the match. It was a truly modern footballer who put them to the sword.
Scotland’s best striker plays at Celtic Park.
There was never the slightest doubt about that, but the media has flatly refused to acknowledge it in pushing the Morelos fantasy. Not only does Odsonne do it when it matters, but he is calm and composed, which makes him everything the Ibrox player is not. Morelos scored more goals, but the SPFL all-time scorers chart has Kris Boyd ahead of the King of Kings and nobody (except Boyd himself) thinks that means a damned thing.