I don’t intend to sugar-coat things this morning; having listened to Lennon’s full press conference yesterday I am astonished at his arrogance and his complete lack of understanding of both his position and the one he’s put the club in.
Listening to that was a little bit like listening to Trump. I found a lot of it head-scratching, but not in a “I don’t really understand this” kind of way but in a “can he really believe the words come out of his mouth” kind of thing. Because most of it was just nonsense.
I tackled his defence of his record yesterday. It’s an old song, sung by every manager there ever was, a tune that never really changes even if the singer does. It’s all bollocks. Managers with better records than Neil Lennon’s have been sacked by their clubs.
It’s a reality of football that it happens.
It might not seem fair, but every manager lives with it.
Football is not about yesterday’s heroics, it’s about tomorrow’s success.
It is, in fact, the same in every walk of life and sector of business. You’re only as good as the next balance sheet. You’re only as good as the next quarterly figures. You’re only as good as the next result. You’re only as good as the league table. And this season has been a shocker.
Lennon’s defence of this season on the grounds that “we’ve only lost one league game” is insulting to every supporter, and part of the overall problem here. Lennon isn’t under pressure simply because we’re behind the Ibrox club in the league; that’s a narrow minded attitude and it’s one he increasingly hides behind as if we’re all parochial wee people who can’t see the bigger picture.
As shocking as that league defeat was, more horrifying still was his ineptness against Ferencvaros and the horrific result and performance against Prague.
It was the latter result, more even than the spineless capitulation against the Ibrox team, which reverberated through our support like the shockwave of a bomb going off.
He deserved to be fired for that result. It was disgraceful.
It changed perceptions overnight.
It, more than any other result, is what made a lot of people’s minds up about Neil Lennon and set us down this road.
To be honest, if he doesn’t feel criticism is warranted after his disastrous decision making against Ferencvaros cost us a potential bounty worth tens of millions of pounds, I really don’t know where his head is. The scrutiny is more than warranted.
Performances this season have been absolutely shocking. The players sometimes look baffled as to what the tactics are supposed to be. There are clearly unhappy people in that dressing room, no matter what public face was put on it yesterday.
The assertion that the club is calm is either a barefaced lie or everyone inside Celtic Park is living in a bubble and completely failing to comprehend the position we’re in. The Champions League knockout in itself is a hammer blow. We’ve lost out on potential prize money from the disastrous start we’ve made to this Europa League Group. If we drop any further behind in the league race that’s going to go as well and then next season becomes even tougher.
But it was Lennon’s contention that most of the criticism is “coming from outside” which is the most shocking. Outside? Is he really referring to Celtic fans with that remark, people who have spent huge sums of money not even to get into a stadium?
Lennon’s legacy is at stake here; this season is what he will be remembered for.
How he conducts himself during it is what will decide the manner in which we remember him.
This kind of comment is not going to win him any friends.
Indeed, he’s fast running out of them.