First the good news – Celtic went fifteen points clear last night and slightly made up for the weekend’s awful result with a 4-1 win over Kilmarnock. Joe Ledley scored a belter, Adam Matthews oddly enough scored twice and Tony Stokes got his first goal since coming back from injury. The win was tempered by injuries to Izaguirre – who should be okay for the weekend – and Samaras – who needs a scan on his hamstring.
Now the bad news – both before and after the game Neil Lennon was in a bad mood with the press, in particular with an article written in the Daily Record by former Celtic midfielder Murdo MacLeod in the aftermath of Sunday’s defeat. MacLeod – who I am no great fan of – claimed that the fans who attended Hampden on Sunday – of which I was one – had been short changed and that blowing two trebles in three seasons was ‘criminal’. For what it’s worth, I agree with MacLeod, Sunday was an awful performance. But Lennon was furious about the article, claiming that it had slighted both him and the players, and that MacLeod was trying to drive a ‘wedge between the players and the supporters’. Lennon continued to vent after last night’s game that ‘Celtic wouldn’t get any credit’ for last night’s win.
Now, I can understand Lennon fighting the corner for his team and in some ways I applaud him for that. But there was no need to get so angry about what MacLeod said, he is entitled to his opinion, and as I already said, in my opinion he was right. As far getting credit for last night’s win, what does Neil expect? It was a routine SPL win, and it doesn’t make up for Sunday’s awful performance.
I think it’s time for Neil to delegate press duties to Johan Mjallby for a while, until he has cooled down for a period, he doesn’t want the reputation for being a hot-head to get to him again, as he has shown on occasion to be an articulate individual. Another thing he should do – immediately – is give up twitter. I don’t know any other manager of a major club who spends time on a social media site either tweeting ‘hey’ to people or getting into petty disputes with their own supporters or supporters of other clubs – see Neil’s recent ‘spat’ with Norwich fans. I understand if he wants to communicate with fans but in the long run it will do him more harm than good.
The next month is huge for Celtic, with the Juventus game, a raft of league games and Raith in the cup, and we don’t need headlines generated by Lennon’s rants at all and sundry. He needs to just calm and concentrate on ironing out the problems that have affected our club – such as the inability to win at Hampden for one. Let’s begin to make that right at Raith on Sunday.