I felt the tug of familiarity after Lennon’s post-match press conference tonight.
He talked about taking the positives from the game.
Yes, I thought, “This is a song I’ve heard before.”
Last month, Simon Cardy at IGN became an internet sensation when he published his one-star review of FIFA 21’s Legacy Edition on Switch with the exact same review as he’d published in 2010, which was, itself, almost identical to the one from 2019.
He opened that article thus:
“Seeing as EA copy and pasted last year’s FIFA onto Switch again this year – once again saying it has the same gameplay ‘without any new development or significant enhancements’ on its store page for the full price of $49.99/£44.99 – I’ve decided to do the same and copy and paste my review of FIFA 20 on Switch below as my review of FIFA 21 …”
Well, my man, I loved that, and I concur.
Since Lennon can’t find anything original to say, and reverts back to the usual guff, I feel I’m not required to be original either.
So I’ll cover this press conference exactly as I did the last one, with only a few modest changes.
“Something horrible has going on with me for a few weeks, I think. I could barely watch the manager give interviews without gritting my teeth. I am fairly relaxed tonight though, because I didn’t feel that at all, just a numbed acceptance that this is who Neil Lennon is.
That means I’ll get through this, I think, as I can’t imagine there being a worse interview from him whilst he’s in this job.
The words that come to mind watching him tonight are shameless, selfish and egotistical.
There are others, but I won’t write them. It’s bad enough I thought them.
The words “Celtic legend” don’t feature at all, and to be quite honest the longer he drags this out and the longer he tries to brass neck his way through this the less likely it feels to me that I’ll ever use those words to describe him again.
He’s had chances to do the right thing and hasn’t done it. This doesn’t even feel like a missed opportunity. It’s more like wilful malice, as the stance of the board is … it’s as if he knows now that this thing is over and he’s opted to bring it all down with him.
Not for one minute do I believe that he is blind to this.
Neil Lennon is fully aware of what this result means and what that performance portends. It must be perfectly plain to him that he’s finished, as he would need to be absolutely delusional otherwise and if Lennon was that we’d surely already know it. He knows he can’t turn this around.
Last Friday he was talking about re-organising the social area at Lennoxtown as a panacea for our horrific form. Then he talked about working on corners, as if the way we lost the second goal against County was the only thing that was off about that display.
Tonight he thinks we were excellent. Apart from blowing the two goal lead, presumably.
Watching him now, two awful truths are sinking in.
He has no idea how to fix this. He actually lacks the capability to properly analyse what it is that’s going wrong. Forget solutions, I would feel far better than I do right now if I thought Lennon could even diagnose what the problems are.
How can we expect him to put things right if he can’t even put his finger on what’s broken?
Imagine your telly went on the blink and you called a repair man and he came in and just stood and looked at for a half an hour pressing buttons on the remote, and then turned to you and said “Well I’ve tried this, and now I’m at a total loss”?
Working on corners kicks? Like that wasn’t already a staple of every manager’s day to day business? Adjusting the social area at Lennoxtown? Is it just me, or doesn’t that sound an awful lot to you like re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic?
Because when I heard that the other day, I swear that was the first thing that popped into my head.
I’ve already said that I don’t blame him for that tonight.
To use a beautiful phrase, I consider him “guilty but not responsible.”
Those who have left this shit-show in progress, in spite of the writing on the wall, are responsible for the outcome this evening, as they were at the weekend, and as they’ll be responsible for the next disaster and the one after that and every subsequent one until they act.
Forget Neil Lennon doing the decent thing.
He has no intention of ending this with an ounce of grace, no intention of considering his position or his own role in this unfolding cataclysm.
He is starting to remind me an awful lot of Anatoly Dyatlov, the deputy chief engineer at Chernobyl, who was on shift the night of the disaster and who’s refusal to accept the reports of the workers who told him, over and over again, that the reactor was gone squandered valuable hours in which the full weight of the state could have been brought to bear much sooner.
Tonight, our season is “critical” and he still refuses to accept not only a share of the blame but that we’re way past the point of “damage limitation.”
This is a full-blown crisis, and he is standing in the way of us finding a solution.”
Nothing ever gets better.
It just goes on and on and on, like a record stuck on repeat.