“Leigh Griffiths silences Celtic rumours with Instagram post.” This was a headline I read on the internet during the week.

What followed was an attempt to make sense of a clip posted on one of  the player’s social media accounts, which showed a photo of the Lennoxtown gym with the emojis of a pair of eyes and a finger held to lips super-imposed on it.

This is all very 2019, but the subtext seemed clear enough. Whatever tittle-tattle might have been doing the rounds about the Celtic striker in the last week or so wasn’t true. 

Celtic's Ryan Christie looking to put recent woes with club and country behind him in Russia

Here he was, working away in the gym as international week began. 

There is, of course, no harm in speaking directly to fans via social media. The former Livingston and Dundee striker is an engaging character who wears his heart on his sleeve.

And I have sympathy with him, too, for the problem he currently has at Celtic. 

Griffiths may have plundered more than 100 goals for the club over the years but all the time he had out of the game towards the end of the Brendan Rodgers era means he is relegated for the moment quite clearly to the status of the club’s third-choice striker.

Will he be the same player again? At some clubs, he could go out on-loan to play his way back into form. 

Getting game time would be a bit easier if he was at a team who played two centre-forwards on a regular basis. 

At Celtic though, as long as Neil Lennon is fearful of the knock-on effect to his team should either Odsonne Edouard or Vakoun Bayo get injured, Griffiths finds himself stuck in a form of purgatory. 

He is not quite hitting the form required to get in the first team, but he is still too valuable to be allowed out on loan to reach that level. 

Scotland tops UEFA coefficient chart following European qualifying

It said something that he didn’t even make it on to the bench amid the wholesale changes which Lennon made to his side for the recent Betfred Cup win. 

And it isn’t just Celtic where he is being missed. To see him kicking his heels on the sidelines at a time when Scotland are crying out for centre-forwards just illustrates the decline in fortunes of a player who has perhaps never been better than on that afternoon in June when he scored two magnificent free-kicks and led the line superbly for the national team against England. 

But a chance should come again for Griffiths. And if it happens at club level, an international call will follow. Edouard missed plenty of matches through injury last season and Bayo is hardly a proven commodity yet. 

Suspensions will come along too and the Ladbrokes Premiership fixture calendar in the month of December in particular is a time when strength and depth is tested to the full.  

But it occurs to me that if you are trying to play your way back into your manager’s plans, a post on Instagram might not be the best way to do it. 

A man who has previously admitted his struggles with mental health, maybe Griffiths finds some kind of strength from publicly responding to every piece of nonsense doing the rounds on social media, radio phone-ins and message boards. If so, more power to his elbow.

Celtic's spending compared to Europa League opponents Lazio

But I can’t help feeling maybe he would have been wiser to have taken a leaf out of Ryan Christie’s book and taken himself off social media for a while instead, and simply knuckled down to the hard yards of grafting away in training and/or reserve team matches so he is in tip-top shape again when that elusive first-team chance does arise. 

He may not have looked his sharpest in the eight appearances he has under this belt this season, but his three goals during this period proves that you don’t lose the knack of hitting the target. 

He may not be, despite Frank McGarvey’s claim in yesterday’s papers, the best striker at Celtic anymore but he still has a job to do. 

He might be stuck in Catch 22 where Celtic want him to regain first-team fitness but can’t find a way for him to achieve this but he has another two full seasons after this one and is handsomely rewarded for what he does. 

Celtic, Scotland and Griffiths himself would benefit if he can find the formula to silence his critics  once and for all.