In the aftermath of Saturday’s game, Neil Lennon lavished praise on the team by saying that it was the “most complete performance” of his time back at the club.
I would go one better and say its one of the best a Lennon team has turned in, and back before Ronny and the other guy came along Celtic routinely handed out beatings like this.
It wasn’t just the result though, as comprehensive as it was.
Lennon waxed lyrical about the whole performance, the style of it, the strut of the players, the quality every one of them showed. He sounds as if he was frustrated at half time with the score only 1-0, and I understand why; that display had been deserving of more goals.
It’s been one of the more frustrating things about watching the team these last two years; we have often shown an inability to prove clinical in front of goal, in order to kill teams off. That cost us quite a few points these last couple of campaigns.
Lennon said as much to the team. “We threw down the challenge at half-time – we can be a nice team and play good football and give the other team oxygen to stay in the game or be ruthless,” he said. And he did, of course, get his answer “in spades.”
Before five minutes of the second half were up the match was beyond Ross County and from then on it was only going to be a matter of how many. This is the cutting edge this team has now, and we’ve managed to marry it to playing stuff that is pleasing on the eye.
Some of the cute little lay-offs and cut backs were pure class.
Two individual performances in particular – those of Frimpong and Edouard – are as good as I’ve seen from our players since this campaign got underway, which is a pretty big statement in itself considering how well we’ve played in other games.
But that was display was a bit special overall.
It’s all the more impressive when you consider that the team broke up after Livingston and only had a few days together to prepare for this game. In spite of that there was something akin to telepathy in some of the football we played.
Look at the right hand side with Forrest and Frimpong for a fine example of what I mean.
And the passing from the middle out wide … as good as I’ve seen in a long, long time.
Players were moving off the ball; I frequently criticised the static nature of some of our play during the latter part of Rodgers’ time at the club.
Yesterday there was fluidity, and it quite simply tore Ross County apart from the first minute to last.
So yes, Lennon was right to praise that team as fulsomely as he did.
But I’ll tell you this, he has earned some very high praise himself because that was unquestionably a Lennon team giving a Lennon type performance yesterday. Gone was the backward passing, the hesitancy, the over-complicated. The ball moved forward, always forward, and at pace.
The manager himself deserves some of the plaudits.
This team is starting to bear his mark, and when you consider his wins to games ratio that can only mean the good times will keep on rolling.
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