Neil Lennon: Calmac needs help in the middle of the park

Neil Lennon has stated that he feels Callum McGregor needs help in the Celtic midfield to rediscover his best form…

The Celtic captain has been asked to play in the number six position for a while now but many have questioned whether or not that is his best position to accentuate his most lethal qualities on the ball.

Matt O’Riley has been in sensational form this year to date and has been deployed higher up so that he can be the man to connect the play between midfield and strikers. He’s also managed to grab himself some goals and assists to which has added that extra dimension to his game this season, much like the way McGregor had previously did in Brendan Rodgers’ first spell in the dugout at Celtic Park.

Although there is no denying this year he has suffered somewhat due to a lack of physicality in that three-man midfield that Rodgers has continued to use even after Ange Postecoglou’s departure to Tottenham Hotspur. McGregor is a fantastic player but even his most ardent supporter would have to admit that pace and power are not qualities that he has ever been blessed with. Technique and composure was always the key component to Cal’s game.

His former manager, Neil Lennon, has insisted that in order for Callum to get back to his best and flourish once again, he needs a certain specimen next to him playing in that anchor man role. As Football Scotland reports: “The main concern for me when it comes to where Celtic can still strengthen, is the lack of height and physicality sometimes, particularly against higher quality opposition. Callum McGregor is having to play in a six role, and I think he’s far better in the eight.

“So I’d want a new number six to come in, a ball winner, a new, strong presence in midfield. And then another striker to supplement Kyogo [Furuhashi]. [Hyeon-Gyu] Oh’s still a work in progress, you know. He’s got really good attributes, and he’ll come good in years to come. But for the here and now, I’d just be looking to strengthen those two central areas, in midfield and up-front. They’ve got plenty of wingers, and plenty of cover at centre-half, when everyone’s fit. But I’d like to see a bit more physicality in the team… particularly in that number six area.”

Paul Gillespie

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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