Davie Hay: Celtic striker Griffiths will do talking on the pitch

LEIGH GRIFFITHS has been in the media and in the dock again this week but I have to say I have some sympathy for the Celtic striker.

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Leigh Griffiths has settled into the team alongside the likes of strike partner Anthony Stokes (left)
Leigh Griffiths has settled into the team alongside the likes of strike partner Anthony Stokes (left)

Leigh went to Tynecastle last weekend to support Hibs in the Edinburgh derby and I am sure everyone has seen the pictures of him and the video that shows him singing about Hearts' current financial plight in a pub.

Celtic apologised to Hearts when the incident became public and that should have been the end of it.

But then we had the SFA wading into the issue this week, with Leigh handed a notice of complaint for allegedly breaching Rule 86 and 'not acting in the best interests of Association Football'.

I can't believe that the SFA got involved over this matter, especially after Leigh and Celtic have both apologised to Hearts, but they have decided to take it a stage further and the club are quite right to challenge it.

From a Hearts point of view, some fans may have been offended or upset by Griffiths' actions at Tynecastle but there were no offensive words and no offensive connotations to the words in the song he belted out in a pub.

Leigh was maybe coaxed on a bit and I am sure he will regret it now, knowing the way it has been blown out of proportion.

I don't see why it has got to this stage, how far does it have to go before everyone is happy?

The SFA have accused him of breaching one of their rules in their massive rule book but it is not as if Celtic and the player haven't dealt with it.

Leigh has a history of off-field misdemeanours and he has had his problems in the past but I don't think you can put this one in the same category. This is just a ­mountain out of a molehill.

This is not a serious offence but Leigh will know that he has to take a bit more care.

It is just in his nature and in his make-up and unfortunately he gets caught up in things that he shouldn't.

But there is no malice in him. He is like a mischievous school kid who seems to get caught up in things and is always coming up with a prank.

He is not like he is made out and perceived by some people.

On the training ground, he is a bubbly character and a good person to have around the place.

On the pitch, he has shown that he can be a very good player as well and that is the most important thing for Celtic.

Yes, he does get caught up in issues away from football. But he will realise that sooner or later all this has to stop.

T his is the latest incident to make the front page headlines but Leigh has proven that he is capable of making the back pages as well.

He has done really well since joining Celtic in January from Wolves and has shown the goalscoring form that he had with Hibs a couple of years ago.

He has gelled quickly into the Celtic team and he is becoming a better player because of the quality players that are around him in the side each week.

He has linked well with the likes of Kris Commons and Anthony Stokes and he has scored a few good goals already, which I am sure boss Neil Lennon will be delighted about.

Hopefully he can get a few more between now and the end of the season and go into the new campaign in high spirits.

Scoring in the SPFL Premiership is one thing but the big test for Leigh will come early next season when Neil's side kick off their Champions League campaign.

That is the level that Celtic want to be competing at and the level that Leigh has to rise to.

He is not the type of boy that will be fazed by playing Champions League football or by the challenge of raising his game to compete with the best teams.

He is only 23 but he has played a lot of first team football and he is getting better all the time.

Hopefully he can keep doing his talking on the pitch and make a real impact at Celtic.


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