Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon has hit back at Leigh Griffiths for being out of condition after the season was halted for a number of months by the pandemic.
Celtic striker Griffiths was speaking recently on BBC Radio Scotland and argued that he should have played more games under Lennon in the Irishman’s last season in charge, saying he feels like he was unfairly treated.
Lennon has now responded to those claims on BBC Scotland‘s The Euros Breakfast Show and insisted that Griffiths had no one but himself to blame for his lack of minutes for Celtic in recent times.
🗣️’He’s on full pay for the three months of lockdown and comes back totally out of condition’
Neil Lennon on Leigh Griffiths 👇
— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) June 24, 2021
Neil Lennon on Leigh Griffiths’ condition after lockdown.
“He did let himself down. He’s on full pay for the three months of lockdown and he comes back, totally out of condition and a stone overweight, when he couldn’t afford to be because he hadn’t played much football in the previous 18 months to two years,” Lennon said.
“We had worked really hard with him to get him back on track and before lockdown, he was in the team and scoring goals and doing absolutely fine.
“Then he comes back completely out of condition, way, way behind any of the rest of them and for me, that was totally unacceptable.”
‘He hasn’t proved anyone wrong.’
Griffiths revealed that he is determined to stay at Celtic and is reportedly set to be offered a new deal by incoming manager Ange Postecoglou ahead of next season.
However, Lennon believes that Griffiths is currently a long way off from the standard that is required at Celtic, pointing out that the 30-year-old failed to make Scotland’s Euro 2020 squad.
“He’s saying, ‘I’ll prove people wrong’ – he hasn’t proved anybody wrong. He’s not at the level of being a Champions League player, he didn’t get picked for Scotland – you have to ask why,” Lennon commented.
“He’ll say he didn’t play enough games, towards the end of the season I wasn’t there, John [Kennedy] obviously felt that he wasn’t in the right frame of mind or condition to play for Celtic, which is a very high standard.
“I don’t think Leigh got anywhere near those standards over the last year or so.”