26 Feb ‘Messi comparisons does Forrest no favours’
Former Celtic star Joe Miller believes Ronny Deila has done James Forrest no favours by making comparisons between Lionel Messi and the Hoops winger.
The Norwegian boss made the comments this week about Forrest and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner after the winger turned down a new four-year deal at the club.
Forrest is out of contract at the end of the year so could leave the club in the summer but that hasn’t prevented Deila from stressing that he remains part of his plans.
Deila said: “He’s here and he’s a good football player so I’ll continue picking the team I think best.
“When he carries the ball he’s like Messi – he makes it look so easy. But it has to be more effective and it has to be more intense, both defensively and offensively.”
However, Miller believes that has piled undue necessary pressure on the 24-year-old and reflected on when his team-mate Stevie Fulton struggled to live up to the name he was given.
“Billy McNeil gave him the tag of Roberto Baggio and that kind of stuck.
“The boys in the dressing room ripped into him for that.
“It’s not ideal to make a comparison with a world-class player although quite a lot of Celtic fans would quite like to have Messi there!
“But at the same time turning down the offer was surprising there were quite a lot of players trying to get to Celtic Park rather than leave.
“Maybe he just needs a fresh start and try to kick-start his career because it’s been a bit stop-start for him over the past couple of seasons as he’s been struggling with injuries.
“He’s been in and out the side so if he feels like pastures new is better for him then good luck to him.”