After Liam Scales, Of Course Mikey Johnston Can Have A Future At Celtic Park.

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I know that fans of our rivals will not recognise this description, but football is still a game of romance and daring to dream. (I said dream, not indulge mad fantasies.)

There are still Roy of the Rovers type stories out there, stories which more resemble fairytales than the kind of stuff you expect to read in the average football match report, stories of how players who had been written off came good. You need the right manager … and the right circumstances.

Brendan Rodgers has rescued, or turned around, plenty of football careers in his time. We saw great examples of it during his last spell at Parkhead. More than that, he has made good players better. I don’t think I’ve seen a more amazing example than what he’s managed to do with Liam Scales though. It borders on the miraculous.

Before he went to Ibrox, I wrote about Scales and the historical “trial by fire.” I said that if he passed that test, with all the weight on him, that he’d never need to prove himself in any other way again, and he did and he hasn’t looked back. But there had to have been a player there in the first place, and we started seeing the emergence of one in pre-season.

Mikey Johnston is definitely a player and we’ve all seen him produce. We’ve also seen him flop terribly and look out of place in the first team squad. It is up to him to grab his chances and he doesn’t do it enough. Injury issues have not helped.

Mikey has to stay fit and get an extended run. The good news is that if he does stay fit the possibility of the run will be there. With Abada out at the moment we’re one short out wide, although there is competition aplenty. Mikey has talent and we know does. It’s finding consistency that’s always been his issue, that and producing on the big stage.

I want Mikey to succeed. He could not be playing under a better manager to get him to where he needs to be and he only needs to look at Liam Scales, and not just how well he’s playing but the way the manager has shown tremendous loyalty to him now that he is doing it in the team. If Mikey gets fit and stays fit and starts to produce he’ll play, regularly, regularly enough that he can crack it and show his quality in this side.

Liam Scales is the example he aspire to, and not only that but he’s the lesson that someone who does play well in this team can get in and stay in regardless of how big their reputation is, or the transfer fee that was paid for them. Scales is starting in front of a multi-million pound signing and he’s there because he deserves to be … that can be Mikey.

He was brilliant for the Republic last night. Brilliant. He keeps on doing this, every once in a while, showing us glimpses of a major footballer … he must be incredibly frustrated that he doesn’t do it enough and that he doesn’t nail down a place.

I suspect that now he’s fit the chance is going to come sooner or later. This time he has to do more than just show up. And he needs to stay fit.

But if Liam Scales can turn it around and look like he was born to play in our team then this guy has a shot. Another one.

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  • Michael McCartney says:

    Mikey Johnston initially looked the part playing for Brendan Rodgers first time around, injury has blighted his career so far. I also think that when he has played since his 1st season he is trying too hard to impress and making wrong decisions when on the ball because of that.
    He is at an age now that he has to become part of the 1st team pool or move on, like you James, I think there is a very good player in there and I have high hopes that BR can bring the best out of him.
    I would also ask the super critics amongst our support to encourage our players when they come back into the team and stop putting pressure on them from the first kick of the ball.
    If some of the modern day fans had been around in the 1960’s some of the Lisbon Lions would have been written off long before big Jock turned them into Legends and European Champions.

  • 18871888 says:

    It’s also worth noting that he would be another home grown player for the European pool.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Ireland has been good to Mikey – Hopefully Celtic can finally now be too…

    But with his injury record and the open season thuggery in Scottish Football – I’m not so sure…

    But here’s Hopin !

  • Woodyiom says:

    There’s absolutely a player in there but I doubt it’ll ever come to fruition fully as I don’t think he has the football brain necessary to know when to shoot vs when to pass to a player in a better position vs when to stop beating his opponent for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th…. vs when to whip a cross in immediately. I’d love to see MJ to become an integral part of Celtic’s 1st team and in BR he has the perfect manager to support him however I just don’t see it happening as I don’t think he himself has it in him unfortunately but I desperately hope I’m proved wrong….

  • Charlie Green says:

    Ryan Christie and Liam Scales went to Aberdeen and came back much better players. Shouldn’t that raise questions about the coaching at Celtic Park?
    Perhaps Mikey Jonston would benefit with a spell there for as I see it he still has no final ball. The clip justifying him staying at Celtic ironically highlights this as he danced passed two players, something he is more than capable of, and then fired in a shot which had no chance of getting passed the keeper.
    He needs to lift his head and be aware of his teammates and I know bugger all about coaching.

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