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24th Jun, 2018 | 1:51pm

'More negative' - Hartson can't understand criticism of player who could net Celtic a fortune

Former Celtic striker John Hartson has claimed that he can’t understand the criticism aimed at Stuart Armstrong for his performances last season.

Armstrong, who is reportedly set to net the Hoops a windfall of £7million when he joins Southampton, was under fire for not matching the 17 goals he scored in 2016-17 last season, but Hartson feels that the player didn’t deserve the criticism that he got.

“Good luck to Stuart Armstrong. Disagree that Stuart was the only Celtic player under par last season, but he seems to be getting more negative comments than several other players who never hit the heights of the first treble winning season. Thought he did well for Celtic” Hartson said, as quoted on his personal Twitter account.

In contrast to his flurry of goals in 2016-17, Armstrong only managed to net four goals last season, but the 26-year-old was still a key part of the Hoops side which clinched another domestic treble.

Football Insider verdict

Did Stuart Armstrong receive more criticism than other players last season? It is hard to say. Whilst John Hartson is correct to say that a lot of players failed to live up to their performances last season, it did not stop the Hoops from winning another treble. And it could be argued that the likes of Dedryck Boyata, Jozo Simunovic and Scott Sinclair received as much if not more criticism from fans at various stages of the season. Perhaps the frustration with Armstrong was because there was a worry that his 17 goal season was going to be an anomaly, as that was by far his best season playing for the Bhoys. That could have turned out to be the case, as his performances last season were a step down, and he ended up losing his place in the first-team towards the end of the season. That being said, Hartson is correct about the Scotland international being a good player overall for the Hoops, and there is no doubt he will be missed when the Bhoys are looking for a goal from midfield.

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In other Celtic news, the Hoops must sign defenders with the Stuart Armstrong money

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