Former Scotland international Alan Hutton accused the recently departed Celtic manager Neil Lennon of wasting the talent of Ryan Christie.
After what has been a forgettable 2020/21 campaign for the Bhoys, the Irish tactician resigned as the boss on Wednesday morning after months of protests from the Green Brigade, who have not been happy with the way the season has panned out.
Even though he is typically an attacking midfielder, Lennon had been using Christie as a versatile attacker in his squad, playing him as a centre-forward on six occasions, despite him performing better in central midfield, according to Whoscored.
Speaking to Football Insider, Hutton admitted that he doesn’t see Christie as a striker and offer so much more in the middle.
“It’s not his best position for me,” he said. “I think when Celtic play the two up front that’s when they’re most dangerous.
“Whether it be, Edouard and Griffiths, Edouard and Ajeti – even though he’s not hit the form that we expect – I think they’re still better with the two strikers.
“When Christie goes in there with his back to goal, it’s not how he plays. He likes coming onto things, seeing passes, he’s a creative player so for me, that doesn’t quite work out.
“When it comes to the miss, yes, it was a sitter. It was a great pullback from Edouard, I’ll give him a little bit of leeway, the pitch wasn’t great and he skied it but over the course of the game, I think Celtic had more than enough opportunities to win that. The frailties at the back once again let them down.”
Transfer Tavern Verdict
With John Kennedy stepping in as Lennon’s short-term replacement, it will be interesting to see what his plan is regarding Christie and where he feels he will benefit the team most.
Christie has scored five goals from 35 appearances but has provided seven assists in the Scottish Premiership and has won six man-of-the-match awards for the Hoops this season (Whoscored).
Despite him accumulating a high average match rating this season, Hutton is right. We have seen the best from Christie when he’s in a midfield role, not in a position where he has his back to goal.
In other news, Ally McCoist reacts as Neil Lennon resigns from Celtic post.
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