Chris Sutton has called for the Celtic fans to stop criticising the star, who has been going through a rough phase of form lately.
There has been increased criticism of several Celtic players over recent weeks and it stepped up for some after the Riga match in midweek. There is now a more balanced view being put forward on why Edouard and others need more help to produce their best.
When you read the comments it’s hard to believe Celtic are on a decent unbeaten run and have closed the gap at the top of the league nicely. Having said that, some recent performances haven’t been as good as everyone wants. It’s also true to say we haven’t seen the best from Odsonne Edouard this season, his was a lacklustre performance in Latvia for sure.
Chris Sutton in The Scottish Sun talks about the Celtic system and set up not helping Edouard, or others. Sutton’s view is that before fans and critics lambast Edouard they should be looking at the lack of service for him during the game. Sutton doesn’t believe there is a problem with the player’s attitude nor does he feel Edouard has given up and wants away:
“He wasn’t at the races in Latvia but there is absolutely nothing in the player’s character that suggests he’s about to down tools or look for a move away.
“It could have just been an off night. Believe me, it happens. The bigger concern is the system is not playing to his strengths.”
Edouard does seem to have been more effective in partnership with another player up front. Leigh Griffiths being a good example post the winter break last season. Albian Ajeti didn’t start the other night, perhaps reflecting a more cautious approach to a highly significant away European match. Ajeti certainly looks like an excellent option to play alongside Edouard. Chris Sutton has a view on Ajeti linking with Edouard too:
“He needs games to get fully fit and Riga was an ideal chance to get the two of them on the pitch. Let him get a goal and then give him a break after 60 minutes if necessary. Perhaps the question is if Lennon believes they can play as a pair.”
With a regularly rotating selection over these early games and some players still getting match fit, we’ve yet to see much of a settled team emerging. We have seen question marks over players and we”ve seen great performances at times from some, like Jeremie Frimpong in Riga. As Sutton goes on to mention:
“It does seem Lennon is still working out his best formation and line-up to get the best out of his players.”
It’ll be a tough match this weekend against Hibs, especially with a couple of injuries in the squad. But if Celtic can get snap into form and provide better support and service for Edouard then we should remain confident of a good result.