RYAN CHRISTIE has been the stand-out Celtic performer so far this season. He eventually broke into the Celtic side last October at the unlikely location of Murrayfield. Before that Betfred Cup semi-final against today’s opponents Hearts, it was increasingly looking that he’d be regarded as surplus to requirements and be heading out the door in the same way that Scott Allan left.
Indeed had John McGinn got his wish of a move to Celtic from Hibs early last summer then Christie might even have been sent out on loan or even been used as a bit part in that deal. Neil Lennon was the Hibs manager at that time, seeing for himself how difficult it is to work with Peter Lawwell on transfer business from the other side of the fence, and he wanted to take Christie to Easter Road.
When Christie broke into the Celtic team he was sensational. We even did a Poll on The Celtic Star asking if you’d prefer to have McGinn or Christie in the Celtic team and young Ryan won that won convincingly.
Then of course his season ended in the other semi-final, in the Scottish Cup in April against Aberdeen when he was subjected to a sickening injury from a thuggish challenge. The impact was horrendous and Christie needed surgery to repair the considerable damage to his face.
He was back for pre-season and eager to pick up where he’d left off and has done that remarkably well. His hat-trick against St Johnstone on the opening game of the league campaign was something special.
“I do feel as if I’ve got a few extra per cent at the moment, which is down to the guys putting us in great condition in pre-season,” Christie said to the media, as reported by Scottish Sun.
“It worked well for me that I came back from injury and straight into pre-season.
“I prefer it when the games come thick and fast because it gets you right up to speed. That Hearts game last season was the first time I’d stamped myself as a Celtic player and I kind of kicked on from there.
“I know it’s only ten months, but it feels like a lifetime ago. It’s nice to look back and see how far I’ve come. I’ve been delighted at how things have gone, but I can’t rest on my laurels.
“I’m absolutely a better player now than I was then. I put that down to how many games I’ve played and getting used to the crowd and big occasions.
“How has life changed since then? I’m definitely getting spotted more!
“I’m not going to complain though. The more game time I get, the happier I’ll be.”
Christie also had a word of welcome for returning Celtic Star Fraser Forster, who joined the club on Thursday from Southampton, initially on a season long loan.
“We all know how good Fraser was the first time he was here. He set a league record of 11 clean sheets in a row. That speaks volumes for his quality, so we’re delighted he’s back.”
Also on The Celtic Star…
Taylor or Meling? Wanyama? ‘Greg Taylor to Celtic from Kilmarnock should be done next week,’ says sports writer…see HERE.
Dunfermline’s Songbook, The Boyd Agenda, Lennon latest dig at Celtic support, ‘Racist and Sectarian’ Ibrox…see HERE.
Willie Maley v Jimmy McGrory. If you know the history – Celtic at birth, 50 & 100: Part 11 – August 1938…see HERE.
‘The Goals at Celtic Park have just become smaller – The Green Giant is Home!’…see HERE.