I like Simon Ferry, and I admire his show very much.
When you consider the complete non-entities who are in the mainstream press it is astounding that Sky or the BBC haven’t given this guy a gig yet, this guy who knows so much about football and who asks the right questions of his guests and talks about the sport intelligently and passionately.
But I disagree with Simon Ferry’s latest contention on Neil Lennon, and that there is a way for him to win back the fans enough so that he can keep his job.
That, I’m afraid, is the wishful thinking of one of Lennon’s good buddies.
It bears no relationship to the feelings of the average supporter.
Lennon has shot it.
The failure to win the ten is his legacy, and he will never be able to erase that or make it right.
This is what he’ll be remembered for, and there’s no point in pretending anything else.
The scars from this season are going to take a long time to heal, if they ever do.
Lennon has one chance and one chance only of rebuilding his relationship with the bulk of our fan-base; the passage of time. The clock on that can’t even start until he’s left Celtic Park as manager for the last time.
Until then, there’s just no chance of it I’m afraid.
Maybe it hasn’t sunk in to some people in the media and football bubble, but this wasn’t just any other season. This was the most important season, and you can call that parochial and small minded as you like, but it’s a fact and everyone knows it’s a fact.
It’s not even the surrender of the ten, but the whole of this disastrous campaign. League form, cup form, European form … Lennon deserves to be sacked, and the longer he stays in that job the more it looks like our board is willing to accept failure on this scale, and that’s unacceptable to the supporters who are right to expect better from the club.
The fact is, the board has granted Lennon time and leniency no other manager in our recent history would have gotten. To many supporters it looks like Lennon’s wellbeing has been elevated above that of the club itself, and that he believes that’s as it should be.
It doesn’t matter if that’s a faulty perception; people believe it, our fans believe it, and anyone who thinks that this is going to change is wrong. Because it won’t.
Lennon will not get another chance here, not from the fans.
Every mistake he makes will re-open the wounds.
The first cup defeat he’ll be crucified.
Every dropped point in the league will precipitate a new crisis and even the fans who still support him will turn and the rest of the fan-base will be demanding his head every week.
There is no reservoir of goodwill left for him.
Many thousands of our fans never wanted him to have the job in the first place … their response (mine included) if he gets handed a reprieve by the board and the chance to ruin another season and squander tens of millions of pounds we can’t afford to piss away doesn’t even have to be guessed at.
Lennon no longer enjoys the confidence of the fans.
That’s it, it’s as simple as that, and every day he stays, dug in, obstinate, arrogant, taunts those of us who believe his removal is an imperative.
No brief run of form will alter what we see before us; the man who lost the ten.
Even Lawwell knew that was a tag that he’d never be able to escape.
Ten years down the line, when Neil Lennon is sitting in a TV studio and we’re rampant at the top of the league and Ibrox is on its third or fourth team most of us will feel better disposed towards him than we do right now.
When’s he long gone, and not before.