This morning, Phil posted a piece that suggested that our manager is not in control of the signing policy and that he left Bolingoli and Jullien on the bench because he does not fancy them as players and did not sign them in the first place.
Would I be surprised if it was true? Not even a little bit.
One of our deepest fears was that Lawwell hired Lennon because Lennon will not rock the boat. He is pliable. If that’s an accurate scenario, he lucked into the job at a time when his career had taken a serious hit and he knows it. The chances that he would ever be his own man in that situation were as good as zero.
I hoped – against my better judgement – that it would not prove to be so.
That Lennon would grab his second chance – his career last chance if he fails it – with both hands and not let go.
That he would fight tooth and nail for the players he wanted to do the job.
There are those who would love for Phil’s story to be a proven fact.
Because to many of them, that provides Lennon with an alibi and an excuse for failure last night, and they can go on having faith in him.
But if Phil has this one right then Lennon’s position is basically untenable already because any manager who would allow his signings to be chosen for him, and who then would demonstrate his discontent by leaving them out of the team for such a match, ought not to be the boss at Celtic Park in the first place.
Those offering such a scenario in mitigation are doing him no favours; it makes him look worse than just tactically inept on the biggest stage of all.
It makes him look gutless, weak, desperate for the role and willing to tolerate anything.
Phil can only write what his sources tell him, and we should be grateful to him for bringing us the story. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s true or not – or rather, it does matter but not because it changes what we have in front of us.
Last night, Lennon looked spectacularly, colossally, out of his depth. Whether he’s having players foisted on him or not is largely irrelevant at this point because we’ve got problems either way and the decision to drop Bolingoli not only deprived us of the only left back option we had but the decision to move McGregor weakened two areas of the team instead of one and that is a bad decision of epic proportions for which there are no excuses whatsoever.
There is no mitigation here for the manager.
Either he’s a weak fool, playing the patsy for the men in the boardroom above him, or he, himself, is the owner and executor of last night’s calamitous and costly defeat. Either way, the feel-good factor has been erased.
The pressure he was under before the cup final is back on him and magnified spectacularly.
Everyone involved at Celtic Park better understand how serious this is.
The spotlight isn’t just shining on the dugout, there are big problems that need addressing elsewhere.
There’s three weeks left of the transfer window and we’re already out of the premier European competition.
Hard questions are now being asked, and the fans had better get good answers.