‘Lustig you’re the one, you still turn me on. You can make me whole again,’ started at Ross County away, the day Leigh Griffiths scored THAT free-kicks to break the deadlock and win the points for Celtic.
Atomic Kitten’s Whole Again is probably as well known as Celtic’s Swedish right-back, who the song has been dedicated to by the support from that away day in Dingwall.
However, a recent dip in performances and injury leaves the question of whether Mikael Lustig is still the one to help Celtic progress in Europe and dominate in Scotland.
Lustig was signed from Rosenborg in January 2012 on a pre-contract.
Since then, the defender has been an integral part of the Celtic team. Lustig has successfully marshalled super stars such as Neymar, Alexis Sanchez and Pedro in his slot at right back, even starting the famous 2-1 victory over Barcelona.
Since signing, his goatee has become common place at Celtic Park and despite injury plagued year in 2014 he’s been a constant in the Celtic XI.
His aggressive, tenacious play has endeared him with the Celtic support as well as his ability to embrace what Celtic is.
His goal against Ibrox in the second 5–1 victory of the season over Rangers was a thing of pure beauty.
He drifted between a number of players before sliding the ball calmly into the corner.
Although, recently there have been questions relating to whether or not the 31-year-old still had what it took to impose himself on the game and keep up with pace attackers.
A yellow card and the giving away of penalty versus Patrick Thistle, a red card versus Aberdeen and a couple of defensive faux-pas.
We knew that Zenit St Petersburg would test Lustig and indeed the entire Celtic defence and as it turned out it was a Jekyll and Hyde performance over the two ties. For hi part Lustig was solid and impressive in the first match at Celtic Park; although a week later, Lustig endured a tortuous night in Russia and was at fault for the third goal.
Personally I still believe Lustig is the one and more importantly that he retains the trust of Brendan Rodgers.
Unfortunately if he is unavailable for the match at Ibrox, then that will add to the challenge that Brendan faces. He may yet look to play yesterday’s postponed league match next Wednesday to allow the Lustig suspension to be served and have him available for Ibrox. The Celtic Star predicted this move to play the Dundee game next week, yesterday, as others were writing about Lustig missing the game in Govan.
However whether Lustig is available or not after his sending off at Pittodrie – his first ever red card for the Hoops – it was pretty disappointing to see Celtic supporters celebrating the fact that the big Swede might miss the match.
Mikael, to be clear, you still turn most of us on!
And he clearly still does it for the boss too. Brendan yesterday had his say.
“Mika is a great servant for me,” Brendan said.
“He has put himself out there. He has struggled for injuries earlier, but since I’ve come in, the game-time he has played has been fantastic.
“And he has to keep going.”
Written by Lewis Faulds
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