Mikey Johnston Had A Great First Game On Loan. But There’s No Easy Road Back To Celtic.

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By all accounts, Mikey Johnston was excellent last night. I say that with no surprise. This is not the first time I’ve written that sentence. Mikey Johnston has been on a loan a couple of times and he sometimes has excellent games.

He has had excellent games in a Celtic shirt, games so good that it makes you forget weeks of sub-par performances. He has been so good in some of those matches that we have convinced ourselves all over again.

I’m done convincing myself on Mikey Johnston, and I strongly suspect that the manager and others at Celtic Park feel exactly the same way.

I won’t be convinced until Mikey Johnston convinces me and I will not fall into the same old trap. The next time I praise Mikey Johnston as a player worthy of a Celtic shirt he will need to have put together good displays until he’s removed the last vestige of doubt.

It’s not going to happen because of one game or two games or a handful of them spaced out over weeks or months. He needs to do it regularly. He needs to keep on doing it, home and away, in games that matter. Then, and only then, will he convince folk.

The thing is, we all like this kid. The heart-strings are tugged on a little bit when an academy player shows something, and we all want them to go on and be stars for us.

This is something you don’t get with a player you’ve signed; people are a lot less willing to tolerate a player who isn’t from the club, someone who has come here and doesn’t get it.

With a youth player you root for them long after you’d have otherwise given up. Even when it seems futile. Even when it seems that all has been lost.

Until the breaking point comes, and then you can’t see any way back and I’m going to be honest; my breaking point came this season, during this campaign, when he had opportunities and couldn’t do anything with them.

I thought it was his last chance. I don’t think there’s going to be another. If we get an offer in the summer I’m sure it’ll be accepted and Mikey can go his way, and I really do hope that he is a success wherever he lands, whether that’s at West Brom or elsewhere.

You know, even if Mikey succeeds there and shows what a talent he is, maybe we just have to conclude that he was never going to make it at Celtic.

The same drive that makes us root for an academy player also brings with it the tremendous pressure to succeed from that starting point, and that’s a pressure no signing will ever experience for himself.

So, I’ll cut him some slack however this ends up, and I will absolutely wish him well. But I just don’t think it will, or should be, at Celtic Park.

This road home is a little too long to travel.

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  • Peterbrady says:

    How will county be cheated tonight how many times will the statue goldson handle the ball how many county players will the statue kick in the head and be missed by corrupt official how many dives by Barbie doll how many will tavpen get we all know county have no chance but heh ho everybody celebrate today forever in eternity known as deid hun day HAIL! HAIL!.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Nah – He for whatever reason just doesn’t seem to be able to cut it in the backwater farce that is The Scottish Premier League…

    I’m not sure why – maybe too lightweight for the thuggery ?

    But there again there are a million of The (Sonny) Lawwell Ludricous ‘Projects’ in the bloody same boat…

    A real shame as he’s shown flashes of his undoubted potential –

    But Celtic supporters canny wait eternally for him to prosper and progress one minute longer !

  • Bunter says:

    I love a player who will take a man on and go past him. It opens up defences like nothing else can. Mikey has this. And what I’ve saw so far of Kuhn, he can also go past 2/3 players. It’s the Celtic way. I think Mikey will be back with us as a more mature and rounded player. It’s not all over for him with us.

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