Come On Neil, Bolingoli Didn’t Cost Us Our Champions League Place. Your Tactics Did.

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We are weeks down the line from our Champions League disaster, and the manager continues to infuriate many of us with his stark refusal to accept ultimate responsibility for that defeat.

He refuses to acknowledge that his tactics were wrong.

He refuses to acknowledge we should have played a striker.

He continues to blame certain players.

Yesterday he blamed Bolingoli. Who wasn’t on the pitch. Who wasn’t in the squad.

Who’s breaches of health protocols cost us two league games of preparation … that much, at least, is true.

But that’s not an excuse which any of us should cling to.

It’s certainly not an excuse I want to hear the manager attempting to make.

They used to say that it was success that had a thousand fathers whilst failure was an orphan; in football that is turned on its head.

It’s failure that can be laid at a dozen doors.

Not only is it unseemly for a manager at Celtic to be casting about for scapegoats when the responsibility is clearly his own, it’s worrisome too because it suggests the same mistakes might be made all over again.

The Ferencvaros game produced a scandalous result and a lot of soul-searching and analysis should have been done in its stead.

I’d hate to think people at Celtic Park simply shrugged and moved on and put it down to “one of those nights.”

Neil Lennon was solely responsible for that and he should not be allowed to deflect from his own failings on the night.

It is important that he not only acknowledge them but learn the damned lessons from them, and I don’t see any sign that he has.

Time will tell, but he cannot think that he can breeze through this campaign if there are any more nights like that, any more outrageous decisions like the one he took to play that match without a forward. It was a grotesque act of disrespect to the opposition and the club got what that display of machismo deserved.

The manager has to do better than this.

If he thinks his own decisions played no part in that catastrophe he needs to think again.

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