When Brendan Rodgers was the manager at Celtic, I thought there were times when he could have fought the club’s corner harder in front of the media.
Whatever doubts I had about Neil Lennon, that was never going to be one of them.
I knew he would be aggressive in defence of the team and the board and the fans and everything about us.
Today he made his feelings clear on the Kieran Tierney saga, and they are pretty much dead-on what The Rumour Guy said eariler on.
In his article he wrote, “Everyone at Celtic is thoroughly fed up with this whole saga and I think if Tierney were fit right now and not still trying to get over his injury issues that we’d have said so in no uncertain terms.”
Well, Lennon made sure that the club’s own frustration was pretty clear.
“The club’s valuation of Kieran has not been met … until then we don’t have a discussion … I don’t know what Arsenal’s financial state is,” he said. “I know what ours is, and we’re quite comfortable with the situation at the minute.”
Oooft, that’s a no-miss shot right there.
When asked if he believed the London club had disrespected Celtic with their offers so far Lennon was even more bullish.
“We can’t do anything about what clubs do in England … £50m for [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka is a lot of money and we feel that Kieran is a far more experienced and rounded full-back at this juncture in his career … so disrespectful is the wrong word but we’re certainly not going to be pushed over in any negotiations and we’re in a very strong position.”
This is everything I want to hear from a Celtic manager.
No soft-soaping when it’s clear that we’re being messed about, but a brutal slap back on the club’s behalf.
This is what standing up for us looks like, and I wish Rodgers had done it more often.
This was on the nose, and timely, and a warning shot not only at Arsenal but at others club who might fancy trying to poach our players on the cheap.
I thought that a massive statement to make, and one we should have made a long time ago.
These are simple messages, but they are undoubtedly important ones.
A new standard is being set here in how the club interacts with the world around it, and I cannot be anything other than full of praise for it.
This club is going on the offensive again, and at the best possible time.