The Record is late to the party again, but for once they’ve brought something to add to the open bar. Their article tonight on the number of goals we lose from set-pieces is shocking for the stats it lays out.
They are dreadful. They are also damning.
But the Celtic sites were there in front of them.
Earlier in the week, The Celtic Star posted a mind-blowing video from Lennon’s time at Bolton in which he lamented the loss of goals in the same way.
Listening to that – he even invokes the old excuse that perhaps the players are mentally weak or suffering from other psychological factors – was truly awful. It didn’t just give deja-vu; if you had erased all the reference to Bolton it could have been from any week in the past year and a half. I honestly would not have been able to tell.
That’s why I’m putting it right here, so that you can see for yourself.
I wanted to know if this was also a problem at Hibs, and so I spoke to a friend of mine who supports them and he confirmed that this was an issue that haunted Lennon at that club too.
This, then, is a constant throughout his managerial career.
Lennon learns nothing.
He has no idea how to put together a defensive unit that is capable of solving this problem. It does not matter which personnel he has at his disposal, this problem follows him around and it stalks his sides.
The Bolton video talks about how the problems have arisen in the recent past, and that these issues weren’t there when Lennon first arrived at the club; that’s terrifying because it confirms what must have been obvious to most of their fans.
Lennon brought those problems with him.
The team started to regress because of his coaching and tactics.
The same thing has happened here.
Those issues were obvious to us last season, even as we were winning things.
It takes time to build good habits. It also takes time to lose them, but far less time.
Rodgers introduced such high standards at the club that the regression wasn’t immediately obvious, but it accelerates the longer Lennon is at Parkhead and that suggests that we’ve not even seen rock bottom yet, that Celtic is going to go further backwards. It would make any decision from our board to leave him in post even more ridiculous.
The stats published in The Record are truly terrible though, even if they’ve got here only after the Celtic fans had already explored the issue.
Lennon claimed that we had conceded 25 goals from set-pieces this season.
The Record says it’s actually 22, and they laid them out.
About a half dozen of them were penalties, so let’s leave them out … but there are still way too many.
For a club our size we should not be conceding over a dozen goals in a campaign from free kicks and corners.
It is deplorable, and it shows no signs of stopping.
When we conceded from the set-piece the other day I was furious, having watched the Bolton video earlier in the week.
Lennon lamented the issue right after the game. He laments it frequently.
But he seems absolutely incapable of sorting it out, and this is damning.
He makes the same excuses over and over again; not once has he accepted that this problem stems from something that he is doing wrong, but there’s little doubt that’s the case.