If you believe some people, the decision has already been made.
The internet is awash with that stuff. Some say it’s Lennon’s, others say he’s already been told it won’t be. I comb through this stuff looking for juicy tit-bits, something that rings truer than the rest. It’s more an art than a science though; a lot of it depends on what feels right.
What feels right doesn’t mean – or at least it shouldn’t mean – what you want to be right. Everyone knows who I don’t want, but that doesn’t mean I can afford to ignore the rumours that he’s already got the gig, and there are plenty of them out there.
But that’s true, too, of the rumours that others have it.
Some are certain that Benitez has already got it and will be named shortly after the cup final.
Others are saying it’s Moyes for sure.
Andrea Villa Boas is the current bookies favourite, but that moves more often than the needle on a digital anemometer.
I’ve learned to shut that out. When someone’s odds drop to 1-10, which was the moment I knew Rodgers was off to Leicester, that’s when I’ll pay attention.
(As I write this Moyes has moved back into the favourites slot; this is exactly what I mean, of course. Relying on bookmaker odds is for the birds.)
What I do know – and this may be crucial – is that Lennon hasn’t been the favourite for at least a week. If he does have, no-one around him is talking. No-one around him is slipping a few quid on it. And looking at it analytically there’s no reason not to announce him anyway.
At this point, they certainly can’t do it if he fails to win the cup final.
Most people agree on one thing; if the board has done its job right we’ve not got long left to wait. The whole club will take a day – Sunday – to relax and enjoy the win if we’ve secured 3Treble and on the Monday the announcement should be made.
That presumes that the board isn’t dragging its feet. That seems unlikely. It would be the height of incompetence for them to still be trying to make a decision on the interim boss. I cannot believe that they would be so lax. I suspect Monday is the day.
There are rumours of additional security being sought. Rumours of an announcement late afternoon. Would they be bringing extra security, or indulging in a lot of fanfare, if they were going to wheel out Neil Lennon? I doubt it very much. You’re not going to get tens of thousands of fans turning up for that; even those who support his appointment aren’t going to get carried over it. Deep down, I think, even they crave the sort of candidate to get the blood pumping.
Who knows what will happen though? I wouldn’t put anything past this board at the moment, and the hiring of Lennon is still possible and would still be possible if we lost at the weekend, knowing these guys and their penchant for taking the easy road.
But we’re almost out of road. This can’t – this won’t – drag on through the summer.
No board which wants to be taken seriously would drag its feet for two months waiting to see if the temporary manager could show something special. There has to have been work going on. There has to have been progress. Come Monday we’ll see.