I’ve been away for the past couple of days, but I wasn’t surprised to return to find a fresh Leigh Griffiths “crisis” engulfing us.
This has been a tough couple of weeks for those of us who support the player and who want to see him do well.
No other player in Scotland is subjected to quite so much speculation, or intrusion into his private affairs.
In part this is understandable; Leigh does not have what you might call a “conventional” situation. He hasn’t led a very conventional life.
Put someone like that in the public eye and you get headlines.
Our media doesn’t know when to stop or where public interest and “this interests the public” begins or ends.
I said in a previous piece on this that when there was something to know the club would tell us.
They did just that before the team jetted off to France.
The manager has further clarified things, in a way that has surprised me.
Argue the rights and wrongs of the manager being so blunt as you will; at least now the rumour mongers have no place to go.
There is a problem, and the manager has made that clear. Griffiths’ Celtic future is on the line, and only he can save it. The club has done all that it can, as Lennon has spelled out. From here on out, it’s up to the player himself. We know Lennon will not hold this against him should he step up to the mark and get back into the team. We also know the man in the dugout has other options – both at the club and on his list of targets – in the event he does not.
Everything else is gossip, tittle-tattle for those who care about that sort of thing. Let those who enjoy the curtain twitching have their fun and pretend to be “in the know.” Let them spread rumours and lies as they see fit.
The manager has done all involved a favour here. He’s put this in the public eye because to do otherwise would have simply let the rumours run amuck. Confirming that there is a problem has taken all the juice out of them.
Who cares what the specifics of the situation are?
We know what we need to here, and what we know is that the manager is unhappy and the club is unhappy and they want to see a marked improvement in the player’s attitude; failing that this will probably be his last window at the club.
Most of us would still mourn that.
Most of us would be disappointed to see the player leave, and especially under a cloud.
But Celtic is bigger than Griffiths. It is bigger than Lennon.
Forward motion is what counts here for us, and if he’s not on board he’s going to be left behind.
It was important that we, the supporters, understand that.
Now we move on, with or without him.
That’s really up to the player at this point, and I hope he makes the right call.
In the meantime, take the below quiz and see how much you know about some of the most shocking events in the game’s recent history.