For all we heard from Neil Lennon last night – all the same old nonsense – and those who thought the performance merited his getting more time, for me the best contribution came from one of the online community. It came from Celtic cyberspace’s @Moravcik67_ on Twitter.
I’m going to admit that I had missed it initially; it was highlighted on the E-Tims podcast though, and it was there I heard their team discussing it.
To say it’s a devastating and shocking piece of evidence as to how far we’ve regressed is an understatement.
There’s no way to sugar-coat this, so I’ll present it as the man himself has; our performance in these five games has been so bad that we are 570th out of 576 for the best defensive records in the history of the Group Stages of the Europa League competition.
Let me flip that on its head so you better appreciate what it means.
It means that only six sides in the history of the tournament have lost more goals in the Group Stages than we have in this campaign.
And it gets worse, because as the man points out, if we lose three more to Lille, which isn’t beyond the realms of possibility, we equal the worst record in the competition. Lose four, as we have in the last three Europa League games, and the wooden spoon is ours to frame and hang in the boardroom.
As the lads on E-Tims pointed out, our record is so bad that we’re already in the company not so much of the also rans but the genuine cannon fodder, the teams from those footballing superpower nations such as Luxembourg and the League of Ireland.
I mention them quite specifically; Dundalk, after five games, in a Group that includes Arsenal, have conceded 15 goals to our 17 thus far.
This, by, the way, has been a vintage year for defensive disasters; even then, we’ve got the top spot, or the low place on the ladder to be more specific.
Ludogorets, with five defeats out of five, have conceded 16 goals. Nice have conceded 15, along with Dundalk. AEK Athen and Liberec have 13 each … but as valiant as those efforts are, Celtic stands alone.
There are those who think there is still a possible route out of this for Lennon; their rationale is that if we get through December and sneak something at Ibrox that it will all have been worth it, that the faith the club showed will have been proved right.
That record, on its own, justifies his firing.
That record is a disgrace and a humiliation from which there ought to be no way back.