Leigh Griffiths – ‘I was born for Ibrox. I’ve never been beaten there with Celtic’

It’s fair to say when someone says they were ‘born for Ibrox’ you’d start feeling an element of pity for their situation. That’s quickly followed by thinking about what you’re having for dinner if they try and actually converse. There is only so much talk of the ‘big hoose’ or ‘we arra peepul’ you can take after all before you start looking for the nearest exit, all the while avoiding any further eye contact with the oft glaikit expression that adorns the face.

The concern is they’ll mention 55 and you’ll be forced to retort. Never a good idea. What was it Mark Twain said? ‘“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

On this occasion the man who says he’s born for Ibrox is someone we’d all have a lot more time for. When Leigh Griffiths says he’s born for Ibrox he means he’s ready for it, that he thrives on the atmosphere of derision and hate.

There will be a lot of debate over the next seven days as to whether Leigh Griffith’s hat-trick at home to St Mirren yesterday will be enough to claim a starting slot alongside Odsonne Edouard for next Sunday’s trip to Ibrox. If you made your choice on form and confidence alone then it’s an easy decision to make.

Griffiths certainly sounded confident as reported in today’s Sunday Mail:

“Am I ready for Ibrox? I was born for Ibrox. I’ve never been beaten there with Celtic.

“I’ve started twice and scored twice with two victories.

“If the manager starts me – or has me on the bench to make an impact – I’ll be ready to go.

“I’m desperate to play in a game of that magnitude but it’s up to the gaffer.

“There will probably be 10 players just itching to get on the bench so he’s got a tough job.

“I’m not sure why Ibrox brings the best out in me. But it’s the same when I go to Tynecastle.

“It seems to be a place where people hate – and I thrive on that kind of pressure.

“These are the games you always want to play in, big derby games against your rivals.

When Leigh Griffiths dropped his head and arrowed a shot into the bottom corner of the net past St Mirren keeper Hladky yesterday, he completed his first top flight hat-trick since January 2016 and at the same time announced that the real Leigh Griffiths was back in the groove and very much back to his best. It would take a brave man to consider dropping the on form hitman to the bench now.

In fact Celtic’s return to goalscoring brilliance in a 5-0 rout of the Buddies seems to indicate an entire side returning to top form ahead of a Glasgow Derby where victory would all but seal 9 in a row.

What better way to make it another Beautiful Sunday than Leigh Griffiths grabbing that winning goal. Those who were indeed ‘born for Ibrox’ would be left to question how they ended up with such an unfortunate birth right. The additional benefit would also be a little less conversation.

Leigh Griffiths says he’s ready for it, he says he’s born for it. It is time for Neil Lennon to allow him to back up those words with goals and unleash him at Ibrox.

Niall J

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As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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