ODSONNE EDOUARD has come under fire from some pundits for his ‘loss of form’ or looking ‘disinterested’ in Celtic’s win over Riga on Thursday night. The striker had three defenders on him for his time on the pitch before being replaced by Albian Ajeti. Sutton, who knows the pressures of being one of Celtic’s star players, laughed off the claim that Edouard was not interested claiming that it was a difficult game for the Frenchman but that Celtic need to return to a system that suits him.
Speaking in his Daily Record column, the English pundit says that Neil Lennon needs to revert back to a system that brings out the best in their 22-year-old star striker – suggesting that he pairs Edouard with fellow striker Ajeti to get the best out of the team.
“The only one I would be asking is, where was the service?
“I’m not having this idea the Frenchman wasn’t interested the other night. I get he didn’t have the best of nights but it was a horrible game in Latvia.
“Celtic got the job done but I know what these games can be like. Riga were not interested in playing, it was a total containment job.
“Riga made life awkward for Copenhagen last season and they did it again on Thursday night.”
Edouard found himself surrounded by Riga defenders and defensive midfielders as the Latvian side looked to make life as difficult as possible for Neil Lennon’s side. The late goal by Elyounoussi was deserved for Celtic, even if the game was a tough watch. Sutton put Edouard’s quiet night down to it just being one of those days, suggesting that the manager needs to do more to compliment his No.22.
“It could have just been an off night. Believe me, it happens. The bigger concern is the system is not playing to his strengths.
“I go back to the short time when Celtic had Moussa Dembele and Edouard playing together. They looked dynamite as a partnership and it was such a shame they couldn’t have teamed up for longer.
“Then you look at the second half of last season with Leigh Griffiths. Edouard looks more comfortable in a two up top but for some reason Celtic went with a 3-4-1-1 the other night.
“Leaving out Albian Ajeti was a strange one for me. 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.”
Edouard had a quiet game in Latvia but the claims of him being uninterested were wide of the mark, the striker was marked out of the game and did not benefit from the formation picked by Neil Lennon.
Celtic face Jack Ross’ Hibs tomorrow and hopefully Edouard will return to form after his blip versus Riga on Thursday.