Let me make a confession; nights like this give me the fear.
They give me the fear that Lawwell and Desmond will look at a collection of score-lines at some point and, coupled with a bunch of excuses and “mitigating circumstances” they will decide that Lennon should get another year.
Or two. Or three. Or a stand named after him or something equally barmy.
But tonight was much closer than the result suggests, and nobody should be carried away.
The win was all that mattered and we got it.
Three points secured. It’s pointless thinking now on “what might have beens” and other such wastes of time, but if you’re not contemplating Dubai with snarling fury then you need more emotion in your life, because that unpardonable disgrace and the points we possibly dropped as a result looms larger with every day that passes.
I don’t want to use Dubai as an excuse. I don’t think that it is an excuse, at least not a good one. Lennon and others will hide behind it and plead for more time; it’s results like this which might give it to him.
This has always been the real danger in the board giving this guy all the time in the world to salvage something from this campaign; not that he might fail, but that he might succeed when there was nothing at stake and convince people that was significant.
Of course, there was something at stake tonight and there will be until the title is finally wrapped up. We cannot allow the Ibrox club to come to Parkhead as champions or to leave our ground with that accolade.
So we need to keep on winning, and those of us who dread Lennon getting any more time have to keep on grinning through our cold sweat.
Prior to the second goal, that was anybody’s game.
This is why looking at a 4-0 win feels the way it does; engendering a feeling of creeping dread.
Let me be blunt; until we’re told that Lennon will not be the manager for the next campaign every win strengthens the hand of the board if they decide to keep him in place. Every win helps them build that case.
Looking at it from the perspective of someone who believes leaving Lennon in the job is monumental folly, I can’t see how there can be any outcome other than his departure.
I think we have to do it soon because of that massive rebuilding job, which cannot start whilst he is here.
But I know too that there is a constituency amongst our fan-base which would welcome a reprieve for him and I know too that leaving him in place is probably still what Desmond wants to do.
To spite us, and I’m not going to sugar-coat that.
He refuses to do it because he doesn’t want to be seen to be giving in to the supporters, and he genuinely likes Lennon as a person. When you listen to him talk about how Lennon was “always in their minds” you realise this guy doesn’t have a clue about football management unless the candidate hails from Ireland … believe me, I still think we’re in a lot of trouble here.
This is how our club is run and it would be dangerous for us to forget that.
In my view, Lennon now has a chance of saving his job.
A realistic chance?
Well put it this way, if he gets us to Hampden you can put your money on it.
But it could be another of those watershed nights for Celtic, one of those ones where the momentary satisfaction of it is drowned out by the negative consequences; it’s like I said when Laxalt scored the last minute equaliser at Easter Road; it won us a point but it was obvious that in giving Lennon breathing space for another week it would cost us a lot more.
The other thing that comes out of the game tonight was the injury to the kid Welsh.
I’ll be writing about this tomorrow.
It’s another example of something that was predictable and avoidable and that we have allowed to happen.
The challenge is a shocker.
It’s cost us the player for God knows how long, but it’s nothing we didn’t see coming.
This blog wrote after the Devante Cole challenge that we would get no protection from referees unless we made a stink about this stuff. Cole was cleared by an SFA committee this very week, and the club said not one word about any of it.
It’s obvious that our lax attitude is going to result in injuries, perhaps even serious injuries, to our players.
And it had to be a defender of course.
On and off the field, this season has been a disaster of avoidable pitfalls and predictable reversals, because we won’t learn and so we won’t act. That tonight has been coming, and now we’re another player down in a position where we can’t afford it.
I won’t be surprised if we now kick up a fuss, after the damage is done.
Too little, as usual, and too damned late to matter.
This, too, is how we are run.