Yesterday, Ange Postecoglou revealed that he believes Hatate to be a left sided midfielder, thus ending any further confusion over where the guy might play. As he said so I thought of our current left sided options: Jota, Johnson, Maeda, Kyogo, Abada.
Let’s be honest, we know Jota has a permanent place if he wants it and he’s fit. Kyogo and Maeda can be interchangeable on the flank and through the middle. Abada is a young player just finding his feet. The candidate to drop to last in the pecking order seems clear.
The subject of Mikey Johnson was always going to come up after his poor performances this season so far. As the club brings back players who’ve been out injured and prepares to let some go out on loan there was always going to be speculation about this kid.
To be blunt, I think he needs to go and play his football somewhere else for a while and see how it sits with him. He’s doing himself no good at Celtic Park right now, and he’s not doing us much good either. Everyone would benefit from his going out on loan.
He has spent his entire career at Celtic; this is his comfort zone now. He would do better stepping outside for a while, testing himself as the “go-to-guy” at another club, the player people look to in the hope of making things happen. Trying to carry that weight as one of our players, on those occasions when he’s been asked to, looks crippling.
I would enjoy seeing him play somewhere else; he would have the opportunity to play every week and if he was in Scotland perhaps influence this title race on our behalf. I think sometimes it’s the pressure of playing in front of our supporters which breaks some people … that’s something experience can shake out of a player, and it might be the case here.
Right now Celtic is the last place he needs to be. A lot of fans have made up their minds about him; he has to hear that in the stands when he makes a mistake and every one of them he makes ramps up the pressure. He cannot carry this team like this.
I like Mikey. There’s definitely a big talent there, but he wouldn’t be the first player to fall apart under the spotlights. Time away might make him a different footballer, one we’ll barely recognise if he returns but who we’ll be glad did.
The only way to find that out is to go. Time to leave the nest Mikey Johnson. If you return you and Celtic will be better off for what you learn.