And there lies the crux of the matter. Although the early central midfield partnership with Donati was promising, Landry never quite struck up a decent partnership with Crosas, Brown, Ki or Zheng Zhi which leads us to the equation; Is Landry part of the problem or part of the solution in midfield ?
I felt heart sorry for him when he was hooked after 35 minutes in the Ross County debacle at Hampden. Sure he had a poor game up until that point, and his passing was unusually woeful, but if that was the criteria for judging a player then young master Brown, also of the midfield parish, would never, ever, finish a full 90 minutes.
What didn’t help him last season was Mowbray’s stubborn persistence to play two extreme wide men which meant that the Celtic midfield two in the centre were constantly over run by the opposition despite Landry’s best efforts. On the debit side he has shades of Danny McGrain when it comes to shooting which is a polite way for saying he is bloody awful in that department and that is a real weakness in his game.
He was definitely missed when he went off to the African Cup for 4 weeks around January and we suffered poor results against Falkirk and Hibs at Parkhead which helped to shape our season. Rather than a New Year charge towards the title we suffered a New Year capitulation despite the plethora of new faces who arrived in through the revolving door in January.
In my opinion N’Guemo should be persevered with and the first task for the new manager should be to find a midfield play maker to assist him in the centre of the park. To his eternal credit he never hid while the going got rough and as we know it got very rough at certain stages last season. He reminds me a bit of Claude Makele from his Chelsea days and there is definitely something there to work on.
For what it’s worth, every effort must be made to part with a certain Scott Brown before anyone in the Celtic midfield can flourish. Think of the number of midfielders Brown has been tried alongside and know that no partnership has flourished before you come to the conclusion that ‘Starey Mary’ is the common denominator. Brown has absolutely no discipline and races all over the field, constantly leaving huge gaps in midfield, which N’Guemo tries manfully to plug.
For around £1.8M Landry represents good value for money.
Get him signed.