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GRIFFITHS ‘PLAYING VERY DANGEROUS GAME,’ WARNS EX-CELT

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LEIGH GRIFFITHS is playing “a very dangerous game” after being axed by Neil Lennon for the pre-season friendlies in France.

The 29-year-old Scotland international striker has been left to train on his own as his team-mates prepare for their bid for a record-breaking 10 successive titles.

The Hoops will play Nice on Thursday, Lyon on Saturday and finish off with a glamour encounter in the French capital against Paris Saint-Germain a week tomorrow.

However, Griffiths will play no part in the warm-up matches for what his gaffer Lennon has described as a “monumental” season in the club’s history.

Kris Commons has not been impressed by his former team-mate’s antics during the coronavirus pandemic as he has kept fans entertained by posting a stream of funny videos on social media – even imitating his gaffer.

The ex-Scots star, who left the Hoops in 2017 after failing to feature during Brendan Rodgers’ debut season, told the Daily Mail: “Clearly, Lennon feels Griffiths was over-indulging during lockdown.

IT TAKES TWO…Leigh Griffiths celebrates a goal with Odsonne Edouard.

“Listen, I dare say we can all relate to that. We’ve all put on a couple of pounds.

“That’s fine for your average man in the street, but not for a Celtic striker entering one of the biggest seasons in the club’s history.

“The accusation from Lennon is that there has obviously been a lack of professionalism on Griffiths’ part if he’s returned for duty out of shape.

“Knowing Griffiths as I do, I can tell you right now he won’t have been tuning in to the Joe Wicks videos every morning.

“He’s always been very laidback when it comes to training. He’s not a Callum McGregor-type figure, who is first in the building every morning and the last to leave.

“Griffiths is a maverick. But the reality is that he’s playing a very dangerous game because he’s now needlessly thrown his future at the club into doubt.

“Given the enormity of the season ahead and the chance to clinch the Holy Grail of 10 in a row, it feels like he is blowing the opportunity of a lifetime.

“Celtic fans would give their right arm to be in his shoes; to be the man who scores the goals to lead the club to such a legendary achievement.”

Commons added: “If Griffiths has indeed returned to training badly out of shape, then that won’t sit well with supporters. It just won’t wash.

“The club have backed him through thick and thin over these past few years. But it feels at times like he’s his own worst enemy.

“What also doesn’t help his case is the fact that he’s been posting all of these daft videos on social media recently.

GOAL-DEN BHOY…Leigh Griffiths celebrates a strike in the 3-0 win over St Johnstone in January.

“If he’d focused half as much effort into his fitness as he has done posting TikTok videos during lockdown, then he’d be flying around Lennoxtown like Usain Bolt.

“But, right now, there’s a genuine danger he’s going to head into the new season as the club’s fourth-choice striker.

“Odsonne Edouard, Patryk Klimala and Vakoun Bayo are all ahead of him in the pecking order at this moment.”

Griffiths was on a high as he brought down the curtain on last season with a superb hat-trick in the 5-0 Premiership victory over St Mirren at Parkhead on March 7.

Football went into cold storage a few days later with the champions leading the table with a 13-ppoint advantage over Rangers with only eight games to play.

Griffiths netted 11 goals in the campaign, eight coming after the turn of the year as he struck up a profitable partnership with Edouard, who completed the campaign with 28 strikes.

Now Lennon’s plans to team up the Scot and the Frenchman as his double strike-force could be in jeopardy.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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