Hammond made season-defining Celtic howler over “phenomenal” 10-goal “revelation” – opinion
When final season’s SPFL was curtailed due to the continuing pandemic, there was one narrative; Celtic would win ten titles in a row.
Certainly, it was straightforward to see why.
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers had fallen off dramatically in direction of the again finish of the 2019/20 marketing campaign and Celtic have been past dominant within the final decade.
Nevertheless, quick ahead to the current day and the script hasn’t been adopted. It hardly ever does in soccer however this issued a well timed reminder that the Scottish recreation does have its drama.
This season has been a captivating one to observe. The frontrunners for the primary time in what seems like without end are the Gers.
Celtic at the moment are 11 factors behind their arch-rivals, but when we’re in search of positives, they’ve two video games in hand.
Did Celtic miss a trick with Toney?
We had a shocker
No, we acquired the best man
Odsonne Edouard continues to be discovering the online with nice regularity – 5 targets in 9 league outings – nevertheless it’s the remainder of the ahead line and certainly the defence that have to lend larger help.
Nir Bitton has appeared out of his depth and with Christopher Jullien out injured, they’re missing one of many core members of their title-winning crew final season.
Nevertheless, a lot of their failure this time period may be accredited to Peter Lawwell, Nick Hammond and the remainder of Celtic’s recruitment crew. Why? As a result of they ignored Ivan Toney and determined to signal Albian Ajeti as a substitute.
Now, the latter began his profession at Parkhead in blistering kind. The previous West Ham striker netted 5 in his opening six video games however like Celtic, his kind has dropped off a cliff in the previous couple of months.
The Swiss has now failed to attain in his final eight appearances and appeared a really remoted determine towards Hibernian final weekend. In line with WhoScored, in two of his final three matches, Ajeti has dropped a mean ranking beneath 6.1.
That’s disastrous, particularly when you think about Hammond may have spent that £4.5m elsewhere extra properly.
Toney was somebody the membership have been linked with in the summertime however Celtic most well-liked different choices and as such, Brentford signed him for £5m rising to £10m.
It’s honest to say this was a catastrophic blunder. Toney has discovered the again of the online ten instances in simply 14 video games within the English Championship this season and is proving to be a prolific entity.
This shouldn’t be a shock both. Peterborough proprietor Barry Fry commented in the summertime: “Toney could be a revelation for Celtic, he’d be a star, for particular. He’d rating 30 to 40 targets up there, he actually would.”
Steve Evans, in the meantime, famous his proficiency a lot of years in the past: “Ivan is a dream for a supervisor. His targets document is sensible, however his work price is phenomenal,” he mentioned:
With Celtic now in actual hazard of not profitable the title for the primary time in ten years, it’s arduous to recommend that he wouldn’t have made a distinction.
This was a season-defining choice and by not assembly Peterborough’s asking value, they made a deadly error.
It’s coming again to chunk them.
In the meantime, this was the ONLY constructive from Celtic’s draw towards Hibs…
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