Brendan Rodgers will have better weekends. Not only did his Celtic side suffer a humiliating 4-0 thrashing at Hearts, bringing a brutal end to their 69 game unbeaten run on Scottish soil, a player Rodgers let go produced one of the finest individual displays of the season 24 hours before.
Gary Mackay-Steven’s natural ability has never been in question but it’s the consistency that he has been lacking. Though his dazzling performance in Aberdeen’s 4-1 thrashing of Hibernian on Saturday showed just what the fleet-footed wideman can do when he’s at his best.
Making his first start in almost a month, Mackay-Steven hit a stunning hat-trick in his best performance in an Aberdeen shirt so far. The third goal, curled beautifully into the far corner after an exquisite build-up, was a reminder why the former Dundee United starlet is one of the most gifted footballers in Scotland right now.
In the eyes of Celtic fans, however, there remains a nagging frustration that Mackay-Steven did not produce these moments of magic on a regular basis in green and white.
The 27-year-old made just eight appearances in the league for Celtic last season with Rodgers clearly not a fan – before letting him leave for The Dons in the summer.
And with the gap at the top down to just two points, Celtic may be fearful that Mackay-Steven could come back to haunt them.
1 good game all season, he’s really proving Celtic wrong— Ulfhednar (@MarkCharlesles2) December 18, 2017
Never doubted the lads potential when he played for us, delighted to see him thriving under a great club like Aberdeen now. Hope he has a long and successful career with them— Jonathon Ablett (@jonnyablett91) December 16, 2017
If only he had consistently done this at Celtic. He was fantastic yesterday and looked unstoppable out on the left— Danny Michael Walshe (@danny_w1998) December 17, 2017
I just wish he got a good run at Celtic..... He can turn it on, but not consistent enough— Jason Coogans (@jason_coogans) December 16, 2017
Deserved a better chance at celtic— Perpetual Cynic (@SparkyBhoyHH) December 16, 2017
Take a bow mate, what a goal!— Geordie Bhoy (@Madbhoy75) December 16, 2017
When he’s confident he’s unplayable, pity it didn’t work out for him at Celtic. Needs to build his consistency.— Itim (@Itim1967) December 16, 2017
Celtic should have a serious look at this Mackay-Steven playing for Aberdeen. Think he could do a job for us. Looks a player— Stephen Robinson⚽ (@StevieBhoy1985) December 16, 2017
Delighted to see Mackay-Steven doing so well at Aberdeen. Liked him at Celtic, was disappointed it never worked for him here.— Marty Vanucci (@martydeila) December 16, 2017