In the aftermath of yesterday’s game, Lennon has again made some quite unbelievable comments which highlight his growing detachment from the reality of the situation he is in.
He lashed out, again, against his critics and amplified his quite incredible remarks on Friday about how he’s learned who his true friends are.
If he had, he’d listen to them instead of those telling him how great a job he’s doing and how unfair the criticism of him has been. To be perfectly blunt, those people are lying to him and allowing him to delude himself about what the future holds for him.
I find it troubling when Lennon talks this way; it’s as if the merest criticism of him now equals heresy and that’s clearly not a healthy way for him to be thinking. Criticism can be helpful if you are willing to listen to it.
Clearly, he no longer is.
Lennon seems to be retreating behind walls and woe betide anyone on the wrong side of them. In my view, this kind of talk shows how completely he’s lost the plot.
I wish it was the only example I could highlight, but it’s not.
He talks now of a rebuilding job which we’ll only fully appreciate in three or four years as if this is something he’s going to be around to oversee.
I listened to his full interview in incredulity; this guy will be damned lucky still to be here when this campaign ends and he’s somehow convinced himself that he will be at Celtic Park far into the future.
Our board might be shockingly lax in not already showing Lennon the door, but even they put a little of the writing on the wall when they didn’t give him money to spend in January. How has he somehow convinced himself that he’ll be around to spend big in the summer?
Has he had assurances from inside Celtic Park?
In my view, no way in Hell.
The board might try to brass neck this out if he gets results between now and the end of the campaign, and if he wins the Scottish Cup I’d put money on them retaining him unless they’ve already publicly committed to replacing him come what may, but there cannot possibly be any scenario in which he’s been given those kind of guarantees with things as they stand.
Lennon simply refuses to accept one iota of responsibility for where we are, or even to acknowledge that the criticisms of him have merit.
We have high standards and he isn’t coming close to meeting them, either in his management or in his conduct in front of the press.
Yesterday he was talking about having a clear conscience, as if our central allegation was that he was pissing about instead of doing his job.
Let’s get it right; no-one has suggested that he isn’t committed or performing his duties.
We’re saying, instead, that he’s not doing well at it, that he’s been found out, that his limitations are being cruelly exposed and that he’s in over his head.
Constantly, he bangs on about how some people never wanted him to get the job and framing it as a personal issue.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
This is an allegation that has followed some of us around for years now, and it is absolute rubbish.
None of this was personal, not when he was appointed.
Our concern – which he has borne out – is that the job is bigger than he deserves, that he was a sub-par choice and we were worried that it would end in disaster.
The irony is that in recent months a lot of us have now got to a place where we can’t stand to listen to him any longer … that’s a response to statements like those he’s spent the weekend making, the way he’s behaving and the complete lack of respect his statements show for the supporters and, yes, even for the club itself right now.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Lennon has come to hold much of the fan-base in contempt; I wonder if that view is entirely recent, and I very much doubt it.
He and those who continue to support him, and even some of those who really want to see him gone, talk a lot about his personal integrity, and that, to me, is just another red herring, one he keeps on bringing up over and over again as though we shouldn’t even dare to question his motives in not already doing us all a favour and accepting the reality of this thing.
What a lot of folk fail to understand is how insular the wee world of football is, and how different the view looks from inside the bubble.
Loyalty has a short shelf life in football and I don’t believe that Lennon is any different from the managers and players all over the game who, first and foremost, are primarily focussed on looking out for themselves.
Look at Kieran Tierney; does anyone have the slightest doubt that he’s a Celtic fan and will be until the day he dies? He left Celtic for the money and nobody even questions that.
He would have gone to Everton the year before, for the same reason, and I acknowledge the reality of what that means; the player is looking out for himself and his family first.
Loyalty to the club he loves?
It doesn’t put food on the table, does it?
Neither does the adulation, or otherwise, of the support.
He does not miss playing for Celtic in the way you or I think about that.
This is not an emotional issue for him, and it never was.
For the record, I have no issue with people in football behaving like mercenaries and have no difficulty in understanding that it’s how most of them are.
It’s a short career, and because of the phyiscal, and demanding, nature of it I recognise the importance of squeezing every last benefit out of it that players can.
We gave Lennon a rolling contract, and the man is entitled to get his 12 month’s salary as laid out in it.
He won’t walk away from that, and has publicly made that clear.
Nor should he. If both parties were putting Celtic first though, they would get round the table find out what it will take to bring this matter to a close that everyone can live with.
This has damn all to do with questioning his integrity; for Neil Lennon managing Celtic is just a job, the biggest he’ll ever have, and he is correct to put himself and his own well-being first.
He probably still can’t believe his luck.
How long would you hang if it was you?
Until your fingernails broke, that’s how long. Same as me.
Anyone who thinks he’s staying out of blind loyalty isn’t thinking about this with a clear head, and it’s one of the reasons so many people aren’t able to have a debate about where we are right now without it becoming emotional.
Neither Lennon nor his agents are viewing this emotionally.
They know it’s really about cold hard cash.
I’m not buying a single bit of Lennon’s self-pitying ranting.
Indeed, it scares the Hell out of me.
The way this saga is being allowed to drag on is leeching the life out of our club, because we really need to start preparing for life after this guy and the CEO who was instrumental in appointing him … and they are preventing Celtic from doing that.
In these past few weeks, Lennon has shown himself up as an arrogant man who expects adulation even when he doesn’t deserve it.
To expect even his friends to show him nothing but fealty – and to make his continued friendship conditional on that – is plainly ludicrous and seems, to me, to be the mark of a megalomaniac.
Just what a club in crisis needs, right?