Lately, it’s every week now.
The job of a Scottish football writer has never been easier than it appears to be at the moment; pick a Celtic player every week and turn the guns on him. We’ve had Scott Brown being denigrated, Greg Taylor being slammed, Barkas being undermined and Ajeti being criticised. I could go on.
You get the general picture. Today it’s Odsonne Edouard’s turn.
Notice that this kind of scrutiny is never applied across the city. Right now they are swaggering world beaters over there, and you’d be foolish not to admit that they are on form and doing well. But the bad breaks will come just as we’ve had to endure them.
We cannot rely on it, but we can be reasonably confident it will happen.
In the meantime, they pursue the ancient strategy of undermining Celtic every turn instead.
Focussing on individual performances is a good way to do that; it also prevents a clear understanding of where our problems as a whole are.
Don’t get me wrong, Odsonne Edouard makes a good target at the moment. He is shockingly off form right now. But in comparison to what? Few in the squad are really performing as they should be, not with any level of consistency.
Without a doubt, he’s been awful … but if he was so bad the media would have been focussed on him and not turning the guns, in this scattershot style, on other players in the squad. Singling him out this week is simply them doing what it is that they do right now.
Frankly, if they focussed on these guys in a proper way I’d be more concerned.
Edouard does need to improve. There’s little doubt about it.
But there are mitigating circumstances here including his injuries and his virus diagnosis.
It is easy for those on the side-lines to snipe when none of their own favourite players have gone through any of this, and if they did want to take a peek at Ibrox there are several underperforming players there, including Morelos who only seems to score these days in Europe but has basically chucked it domestically.
Edouard will come good. He has to.
Even if the worst reports are true and he wants a move away from Celtic Park, he only has to look at what’s happened to Moussa Dembele – and I’ll be doing a proper piece on that later – to see that you have to be playing well if you’re going to make the kind of progress in your career trajectory that befits your talent.
Dembele looked set for a Manchester United or Arsenal … now he’s linked with a move to West Ham.
The big clubs haven’t walked away from the table, but they aren’t comfortable any longer forking out the kind of money that he’d have got a few months ago.
Edouard has a career plan. He and his agent know it’s not only about picking the right league, but the right club as well.
All of it is for nothing unless he hits form and starts scoring goals again.
Listen, the bigger problem would be if Edouard wasn’t a fantastic footballer … but we have no concerns on that from, we know that he is.
We’ve seen what he can do; he was the player of the year last season by a country mile and he has plenty of time in the campaign to come with which to cement his status as Scotland’s finest and our best striker since Larsson.