Picture used in The S*n today
Well it was only a matter of time before Neil Lennon was back up in front of the beaks at Hampden.
It is in the last year that I’ve closely watched the media in Scotland, well via the internet anyway as I refuse to buy most of them, just to view how certain people are portrayed.
Now certainly Neil Lennon can be animated on the touchline and might possibly even cross the line at times however having dabbled in psychology briefly a pattern seems to be developing.
Adjectives describing Neil Lennon in the papers at times leave a lot to be desired. I’ve seen him at press conferences as an intelligent individual only to see words like ‘bristled’, ‘exploded’, ‘raged’ attached to comments that have been delivered without a raised voice and in an articulate manner. Now, at most of these press conferences, you can clearly hear cameras going off at regular intervals and yet there never seems to be one picture available of Neil Lennon in a thoughtful pose or laughing. No the ones that generally make it into the papers are the ones of a snarling Neil Lennon that hasn’t even been taken at that particular meeting.
This paints a picture of an individual who is constantly at war, not only with the SFA or SPL, but with the world at whole.
Meanwhile other managers are portrayed in a completely different light; Craig Brown actually punched another manager during a European tie and it was laughed off. A few weeks after our own ‘shame game’ he was involved in an actual scuffle with the then Motherwell chairman John Boyle but as the limelight was happily elsewhere at the time virtually nothing was done then either.
Ally McCoist, who has been in the media for quite some time, was also caught on camera at the ‘shame game’ attempting to get into the Celtic dugout after Neil Lennon had words with Diouf on the touchline and yet this picture, of a manger out of control, was never published as far as I’m aware in a newspaper anywhere in Scotland.
This is not balanced reporting or proper image representation of real events and creates an atmosphere which resulted, at its height last season, in bullets, bombs and an attack.
In recent weeks Celtic have lost to Kilmarnock in the League cup where there was a major decision in the dying seconds of the game. Now I was at Hampden so it is obvious that I couldn’t see the incident as it is quite clearly the worst stadium in Scotland to actually watch football in but that is for another article.
However the following day we had a former referee in the paper taking us through, step by step, why it was not a penalty.
After the latest Old Firm game the very same referee was in the paper telling us that the official was correct to send off Neil Lennon. Now the referee may have been correct but this prejudging of the incident by a former official is bizarre to say the least because, as far as I know, the referee’s report at that time would not even have been received at Hampden. So how does he know what took place?
Roll back to the Old Firm game on the 28th December when the ball briefly crossed the line before Fraser Foster scooped it out. Was there a referee in the papers after this game explaining why the goal was not given? No the clamour was for goal line technology to stop these awful decisions ever happening again.
The debate raged for days and was only beginning to settle down when a similar incident occurred at Tynecastle. This was even compounded by the fact that Celtic went straight up the park and scored. The ball had struck Joe Ledley on the way over the line but at one point on the radio Chick Young wanted the goal given, Ledley sent off for handball, and Hearts given a penalty. So one goal, a man sent off and a penalty from the one incident. One of Chick Young’s best radio moments. Thankfully there are limits to what even a sports editor will allow to go into a paper.
My paranoia is alive and well.