There has been much speculation about Leigh Griffiths lately; Neil Lennon today suggested that he is fit and ready for the next part of the campaign.
But three questions have been asked of the player over the last year, and they are still valid.
First, what has been the problem? Will he recover? And will he ever be back to his best?
I don’t have the answers to any of those questions but Leigh has been a phenomenal servant to our club and has been much deserving of the support he has received from both Celtic and the fans, albeit a handful on social media whose behaviour has been a disgrace.
Where do we go from here?
There have been so many people voicing opinions over his future with Celtic lately that it’s difficult to see the best way forward.
Yes, we all acknowledge that Leigh has had health issues that have been detrimental to his ability to perform. When fit, he has served us more than well.
But how long do we continue waiting for him?
How long is too long?
Lennon’s comments today are welcome, but we have heard this stuff before. Leigh needs to be playing regularly and scoring goals.
I appreciate, that mental health wellbeing should be, and is, forefront in our minds.
It’s a serious issue and affects a large percentage of people.
I am not belittling or dismissing it for a second.
What I am questioning, is whether any other injury would result in the amount of recovery time afforded without question. If Griffiths had injured his Achilles, and we had struggled for 18 months to get him sorted, fans would be calling for his head. They aren’t. Because it isn’t physical, it’s mental.
In another world there might be no questions asked. In another world where we have proven players in his position destroying teams and a side running away with the league.
The sad reality is we aren’t. I do feel perhaps Leigh is bearing the brunt of some of that.
But we cannot afford passengers. If Leigh is ready to assume a high profile place in this team again then obviously that’s great news for all of us, including the player himself … and the national coach Steve Clarke won’t be too disappointed either.
Otherwise we do need to evaluate what it is that Leigh can offer us and act accordingly.
If he has the potential to return as he was, then fine. Let us all back him 100%.
If not, let’s look to where we can firm Celtic up, and find someone worthy of replacing him. It won’t be easy.
With more than 100 goals for the club, Leigh is a Paradise legend.
But we need to think about the next 100 goals and who scores them.
Hayley Dickson is a Celtic fan and occasionaly contributor to the site.