Amongst other things he said yesterday which troubled me, Neil Lennon defended his team selection from midweek and said that he got it right.
I knew the “proof” he would offer for that; Ryan Christie’s goal, which was scored from Christie’s usual midfield position just outside the box.
The guy who was in the box when it went in, the guy in the predator’s spot, was another midfielder, Olivier Ntcham.
For Neil to defend that team selection when not a single person in the Celtic support, the commenteriat or the wider world agrees with it is nonsensical I’m afraid. In the aftermath of the game he said he’d take responsibility for the tactics … this is yet another backtrack after he’s gone home and thought about it a while.
I’m sorry to say this, but he is all over the shop right now, and I don’t know what would be worse; thinking that the snarling figure who turned on his own players in midweek is the real thing or thinking the u-turner who sat in front of the press yesterday is.
Either way, I’m troubled by it.
The manager really needs to get a grip of himself and take some responsibility.
This is not the first time he’s taken inexplicable decisions like this; Cluj was one manifestation of it. Lewis Morgan started a game as a striker last season when he had barely started a game … Neil Lennon does this time and time again, and he still thinks he got those decisions right.
Neil Lennon says a lot of thought went into that decision on Wednesday; I’d love to know what the process was.
Did he look down a list of our goal scorers last season and say “Ryan finished second, let’s try him in there?”
Because that appears to be the logic of it and the fact it weakened us upfront and in the midfield appears not to have dawned on him at all.
This is not a complicated matter; we were playing a winner takes all game, in the Champions League, at home, against an opponent who shouldn’t have stood in our road, and the manager of Celtic – of Celtic – chose to start that game without a recognised striker on the park … and we had two of them, both signed recently, both by this manager, sitting on the bench.
And there is no defending that no matter what words come out his mouth or anyone else’s mouth.
There is barely a person in Scotland who was not aghast when they saw that team selection … nobody thinks he got it right, and this is not the benefit of hindsight talking. I said in the article when the team was announced that it was a huge, and un-necessary, gamble for which he would be held responsible if we went out. The reaction on social media was near universal disbelief and even anger … before a ball was even kicked.
I was astounded at what he said on Wednesday night after the game and I didn’t think he could surprise me more than that, but I was actually stunned last night when I watched his interview yesterday in which he defended the team selection.
Honest to God, if he believes he got that right we’ve got a big, big, big problem here and that’s only the first of many results this season that is going to put him under serious, serious pressure and our quest for ten in a row with it.
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