With Boli Bolingoli missing Celtic’s Europa League trip to Lazio yesterday, Neil Lennon faced a significant call as to who would start at left-back.
He selected wide midfielder Jonny Hayes for the role and switched from his usual 4-2-3-1 to start with a 3-5-2 formation that saw Hayes and James Forrest operate as wing-backs, with the team announced by @CelticFC on Twitter.
📋 #LAZCEL team news!
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) November 7, 2019
The Republic of Ireland international’s appearance in the side meant that there was no place in the starting XI for natural left-back Greg Taylor, who has still played just once for the Hoops since joining the club on transfer deadline day.
Despite making frequent substitute appearances, Hayes was starting for Celtic for just the second time this season – his other start, against Partick Thistle in the Betfred Cup, was also in a left-back role. [via TransferMarkt]
Who has more potential, Odsonne Edouard or Moussa Dembele?
The 32-year-old ultimately vindicated his selection by winning three tackles and making five clearances [via WhoScored], with Joshua Peck of the Daily Express writing that he “defended well and got on the overlap as often as he could for Neil Lennon’s side”.
Before kick-off, though, these Celtic fans on Twitter were left perplexed by the manager’s decision to start Hayes ahead of Taylor:
Swap Taylor for Hayes and that’s a team
— Celtic Culture (@CelticCulture) November 7, 2019
Why’s Hayes starting over Taylor man
— Adam Gill (@Adamgill1888) November 7, 2019
Hayes gives me the fear imagine we had a natural left back to play there just imagine eh
— keira haughian🏴 (@keirahaughian) November 7, 2019
A love Hayes so much but Greg Taylor’s an actual lb so why not start him🤔
— Stef (@stephmcconnell7) November 7, 2019
Hayes over Taylor is crazy. At least we have a good selection of forwards on the bench.
— PASTA Mick (@PASTA_Mick) November 7, 2019
Hayes was Brutal at the wknd get Taylor on man
— Bryan Morris (@bryan_morris1) November 7, 2019
What is that all about Hayes over Taylor. Sick of it now.
— Alisa07🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀 (@alisaheron) November 7, 2019
Natural left back on bench but Lennon decides to play hayes pic.twitter.com/ZcIY7nAjtt
— Scott Thomson (@Sat1977Scott) November 7, 2019
Do you think Hayes justified his selection or should Taylor have started instead of him? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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