Former Scotland striker Kris Boyd reacted to a seemingly pointed goal celebration from Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths by claiming that the 29-year-old needs to improve the standard of his performances.
In the immediate aftermath of his goal against Kilmarnock on Wednesday night, the Hoops forward ran in the direction of the TV studio where Boyd was sitting and made a ‘shush’ gesture (as per The Scottish Sun), which appeared to be in response to comments from the pundit last month. In early December, Boyd told Sky Sports [via The Scottish Sun] that Griffiths was “at a crossroads” and had four weeks to save his Celtic career, and he again took aim at the Hoops man following this week’s win at Rugby Park.
Speaking on Sky Sports [via The Scottish Sun], Boyd remarked: “He doesn’t need to prove to me. I’ll go by stats because you can’t argue with them. Brendan Rodgers was appointed manager in 2016 at Celtic Football Club and we heard the professionalism, the standard, the training levels went through the roof.
“I’m doing him a favour here, because I’ll only include league games… there’s been 135 league games played, Leigh Griffiths has played 34 of them. That suggests to me that you’re not doing it in the training field.”
Boyd added: “Never mind coming for us, go and do it yourself. Perform on the pitch, score goals and actually get back to the level that you should be playing at.”
Considering what Griffiths has endured off the pitch in recent months and the rate at which he has scored goals for Celtic this season, Boyd is wrong to condemn the 29-year-old so forcefully. The Hoops attacker took time out of football in 2019 due to a battle with depression (as per BBC), a topic about which the ex-Rangers striker ought to be very considerate given that his eponymous Kris Boyd Charity offers support to people with mental health issues.
That was a factor in Griffiths’ appearance figures being reduced last season, although Boyd has done the Celtic man a disservice with the numbers that he was quoted. Since Rodgers took over at Parkhead in the summer of 2016, the Hoops striker has played in 73 Premiership games and 117 appearances in all competitions, so the Sky Sports pundit is way off the mark with his “Leigh Griffiths has played 34 of them” assertion.
Boyd is also mistaken in having a go at Griffiths for apparently not performing for Celtic. His goal against Kilmarnock was his second in five days and his fifth in 683 minutes of game-time this season, an average of one goal every 136.6 minutes. While the 29-year-old might not have played a whole lot in 2019/20, that owes largely to Neil Lennon often starting with one centre-forward, usually Odsonne Edouard. The Frenchman’s 17-goal tally has been achieved in 2,692 minutes of action this term, with one goal scored every 158.35 minutes – so Griffiths actually has a better scoring rate than Edouard in terms of goals per minute and has been effective with the game-time he has been given.
With all those factors taken into account, Boyd’s stinging remarks about the Celtic striker are inaccurate, insensitive and misguided.
Celtic fans, what have you made of Boyd’s renewed criticism of Griffiths? Give us your opinion in the comments section below!
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