Neil Lennon’s worries continue as Celtic’s run of inconsistent form is dragged out. They were made an example of on Thursday evening as Sparta Prague hit them for four goals in yet another Europa League defeat. The Hoops are now rooted to the bottom of their group table, having banked just one point in the campaign so far.
But the defeat to the Czechs has produced even more of a headache for the manager. High-flying attacker Mohamed Elyounoussi may have completely ruined his chance under Lennon after foolishly getting out his phone on the sidelines.
The Norwegian was substituted off just before the hour mark after struggling to make an impact on the game. He was then pictured on his phone, which has resulted in an awful lot of backlash already.
“He better not have been. That’s something I’ll deal with,” Lennon warned after being informed of the incident. The Hoops boos was rightfully unimpressed with the news and the likes of Chris Sutton have given Elyounoussi both barrels over his behaviour.
The ex-Celtic man slammed the striker for being “selfish” and “egotistical” and has questioned his commitment to the club (via Daily Record).
Indeed, such actions do not paint the player in a positive light. Elyounoussi, on loan from Southampton, has been seriously impressing with his recent form, but that could all be out the window over something ridiculous yet costly.
The 26-year-old, currently earning £60,000 per week, has been the forefront of a lot of praise recently. His goal against FK Riga was the difference between a draw and a win, which attracted a glowing review from Lennon.
“I can’t speak highly enough of him,” Lennon said. “He took the goal fantastically well and he’s a great example to the rest of the squad. His attitude is great.”
The comments could now stand to be void. Whilst Celtic do indeed need to score more goals, the disrespect shown by Elyounoussi could be enough to completely remove him from any remaining games this season. Such incidents are not taken lightly and to keep him in the starting lineup despite his actions would set entirely the wrong example to the rest of the squad and the young players coming up through the academy.