NEIL LENNON was unhappy that Ryan Christie played three times for Scotland during the international break. The attacking midfielder was one of the star men in Belgrade as they ended a 22-year wait for an appearance at a major tournament. Whilst Lennon is delighted that Scotland have sealed their qualification, he is annoyed that the playmaker was involved in all fixtures whilst the rest of the team was rotated.
“He didn’t rest Ryan. That didn’t please me.
“They look okay. There might be a kick-in effect later down the line but they are fit and available to play.
“When you are feeling good about yourself, you want to keep that confident run going and I think it can only help us rather than hinder us.”
Christie will need a rest but given James Forrest is injured, Neil Lennon is short in wide options on that right hand side. One player that could potentially benefit from burnout of Christie is Jeremie Frimpong in an advanced area.
With Hatem Abd Elhamed returning, Lennon can play the Israeli as a right back/right sided defender allowing Frimpong to take up a more advanced role in attack. The Dutch-born youngster has all the attributes of a winger – pace trickery and bags of desire. This could potentially be a masterstroke by Lennon as it would give him another defensive minded player in the team to fend off counterattacks, which have blighted Celtic this season.
Frimpong versus Hibs as a winger could very well be something for the manager to consider. Gareth Bale is an example of a fullback turned winger whilst Kieran Tierney is the opposite, being moved back to defence at a younger age.
Frimpong is still in his development but attacking is definitely his strong point and allowing him more freedom could be the key to Celtic scoring more and conceding less – with Elhamed at the back.