Celtic midfielder David Turnbull was substituted for the 14th time this season by manager Neil Lennon in the 2-1 win over St Johnstone at the weekend.
Since arriving from Motherwell in the summer, the 21-year-old has only completed 90 minutes on two occasions and supporters on Twitter have been asking why he is always one of the first players to be taken off:
Shocking,we are ruining him,mentally he will now believe he can’t play for 90 mins
— St Brendan (@bhart1970) February 14, 2021
Lennon loves his pals .. Turnbull subbed, soro can’t get a start …ffs
— Johnny (@Johnny27367444) February 14, 2021
Not his fault, we have a charlatan pretending to be a manager
— Brian Hughes (@brianh18881967) February 14, 2021
It beats me why he's taken off before the likes of christie or brown
— paul (@pwk74) February 14, 2021
Must be that fatigue again 🤷🏻♂️🤦♂️
— Craig Friel (@craigfriel) February 14, 2021
Lennon good at destroying confidence
— Bomber (@sknab1) February 14, 2021
Crazy considering he hadn’t missed a game until he joined us. Was ready to go straight out the packet. Hopefully it’s not down to fitness and it’s purely poor management.
— Jock (@Jocksbhoys) February 15, 2021
There is a case to be made that Turnbull’s fitness simply doesn’t allow him to stay on for the full game, having spent the vast majority of last season out with a knee injury.
However, we are in mid-February now. There should be no excuses in terms of his ability to stay on the pitch for the duration of the match. It does seem more likely that it is simply a cop-out by Lennon.
The Hoops boss may be warier of subbing off more senior players so his easiest option is to take off one of the newer, young members of the squad, despite the fact he is one of the team’s best performers.