This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Lewis Morgan has defended his Celtic teammate Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo after another disappointing display for the summer signing against Motherwell.
The £3m signing hasn’t made the worst start to life in Glasgow, but fans have criticised some performances. It’s probably not helped that he’s replaced fan-favourite Kieran Tierney, who departed for £25m to Arsenal, but he has looked slightly raw so far.
The left-back had an erratic display against Motherwell too, which 67 Hail Hail described as: “An up and down day for the Hoops left-back. He seemed to struggle very badly at the start of the game, but grew into it as the match went on.”
This has led Morgan to defend his colleague, stating: “Boli’s got something to offer. We see it every day in training. He’s talented and first and foremost he works hard for the team.”
While Morgan is hardly going to come out and slam Bolingoli-Mbombo for what wasn’t an awful, match-costing display, it’s a nice touch. The winger could’ve easily ‘cliched’ his way around the question, but instead chose to step up on his teammate’s behalf.
He’s also not the first player to leap to his defence, with Hatem Abd Elhamed echoing Morgan’s statement that his fellow new signing will come good with time.
Their comments are even more impressive when you consider he could soon be nothing more than a squad player. It would make sense to protect a player who’s going to be nailed on for the rest of the season, yet with Rico Henry and Greg Taylor being linked to the club it would be no surprise to see him drop down the pecking order if either one arrives before the deadline.
The fact that two teammates are so quick to come out and defend what hasn’t exactly been a disastrous start for the full-back shows exactly the kind of mentality Neil Lennon is re-instilling at Parkhead.
In Lennon, Celtic clearly have a manager who’s passionate about the club, unlike the mercenary that was in before him, and it’s showing in his squad. It’s incredibly easy for players to say nothing at all, yet Elhamed and Morgan went against the grain and above their responsibilities to defend a colleague in what must be a difficult time for him personally, adjusting to a harder league and a different culture.
It might all sound rather corny in the sunshine, rainbows and lollipops kind of way, but Lennon getting his entire squad to fight for each other is just as important as getting them to fight for him and the fans.