Neil Lennon Now Risks Breaking His Last Bond With The Celtic Fans.

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Neil Lennon’s comments about Ange Postecoglou and this team the other day were not only crass and un-necessary, they were absolutely outrageous. Such is the way he’s behaved in recent months that he is risking something I never thought possible; challenging the perceptions of those who still worship him as a great Celtic Park hero.

That’s his last real relationship with our fan-base.

It is incredible to me that he would do this, because that relationship should last him a lifetime. It should be what gives him succour in his old age, even accounting for his being the hand on the wheel when we lost the ten in a row dream.

Lennon should never have had to worry about those guys. They stood by their man throughout the collapse of the last campaign. They have wished him well in his enforcement retirement from the dugout, and his early life getting used to punditry.

Their relationship with him should have been that which a generation of Ibrox fans has with Ally McCoist, although he was a disastrous manager at both of their clubs and had a major hand in the cataclysm which swallowed Rangers whole.

For all that, many of them have forgiven him, thinking doubtless of his years of service and the goals he scored. Lennon, too, should have had that sort of devoted following.

But he’s risking that now with his behaviour, and his utter refusal to accept that he got anything wrong. It leaves a very bad taste in the mouth.

Our fans are not vindictive towards Lennon or nasty towards him in any way shape or form. Most of us are glad he’s no longer at Parkhead and will remember his managerial tenures – both of them – as colossal backward steps, not entirely of his own making.

Because Lennon had to be hired, after all.

He had to be trusted with those awesome responsibilities and I’ve always believed that the people who did the hiring – Lawwell and Desmond – are equally culpable, and especially when they knew all his failings both personal and professional the second time around and still handed him the most important season in our modern history.

What all of us want, what all of us need to move past the anger, is an acknowledgment that it is justified and not, as he seems to believe, a product of selfishness or ignorance. What we require is some recognition, however belated, that most of the shambles we presently have at hand he bears at least some of the responsibility for.

Where fans are angry is in his steadfast refusal to face up to that reality, although people from around football, including many of his friends, have told him that this is the case. Lennon himself comes across as selfish and abysmally arrogant, but also a little deluded.

It is certainly part of the reason he’s not currently employed as a manager. Chairmen at other clubs are not blind or deaf to all this. Lennon has a reputation for causing disruption. That, alone, is damning in a sport where most owners want a steady hand.

But an inability to admit to his mistakes is far and away a bigger factor, and a much larger issue for him, because there are few chairmen who will hire someone like that.

It may well be that to some extent Lennon has accepted those realities, and no longer cares. He talks about getting back into management quite a lot, but you have to wonder if he’s really serious when the life of a pundit carries less scrutiny and stress.

Clearly, he enjoys being able to point out others mistakes, and that’s quite amusing in some ways as he’s certainly never enjoyed it when anyone points out his. The kind of life where he can snipe from the side-lines without responsibilities of any kind should suit him.

But his relationship with many of our fans depends on contrition and an acceptance that he failed us. That he got things badly wrong. That he made terrible choices and that those choices led Celtic to crisis and to the loss of the ten in a row.

Nobody is saying that Lennon is not entitled to his personal grief; this has cost him, in terms of his career, his standing, his ambitions and his hoped for place in history. He mourns those things and he is entitled to do that.

But what we want more than anything is that he mourns for us, and not just himself, or at the very least he appears to recognise that we’re also entitled to do so. That he recognises what’s been taken from us, and feels genuine sorrow for us and for what we’ve lost.

And right now I don’t see any sign that he feels any of that. As long as he gives off that impression, he makes healing impossible and in time that will test even those who have stood by him this long. He may or may not care, at least not yet.

But it’s a hell of a way to have people remember you.

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  • Scouse bhoy says:

    I agree with a lot about you say about neil lennon he came under pressure both on and off the field which none of us will hopefully never experience. Super salary on the other hand never got the same scrutiny all his pals in the media and so called journalists never gave him any flak for being a total disaster . His team finished twenty six points behind hearts in the second tier of scottish football then getting another chance in the play offs got gubbed six one on aggregate by which time he walked away beforehand leaving a total shambles. Add to that his disgraceful rants when oldco went bust but here we have him on every sports show. The con man supreme.

  • Michael Baine says:

    I honestly think that Neil Lennon should just go away and hide and should never be on a Celtic game again

  • Charlie Green says:

    The reason he’s got the job is because he handed Sevco the title. He now has to continue with the anti-Celtic stuff to keep it.

  • Paul_Sav says:

    I couldn’t stand him as a player or a manager.
    Paul Lambert was 10 times the player that horrible egomaniac was.
    Nothing personal against the guy ….but if you are really bad at your job you get sacked, he was so lucky DD the biggest tit in town loved him.
    As I said… this is only my opinion and I know folk love him no matter what…. but not for me , last season NL and the board lowered us to a level I hope I never see again.
    Good luck Neil but I have zero respect for you ( and I’m sure you don’t care)
    Let’s move on.

    • Jim Duffy says:

      Paul Lambert 10 times the player Lennon was ,don’t make me laugh ,you’ll be telling me next he’s ten times the manager, Lambert got lucky in Germany because was surrounded by fantastic players.

  • Iljas Baker says:

    I’m definitely not a member of the Lennon cult, if there is such a thing, but let’s try to understand what he actually said. The report I read gave this:

    NL: “It’s just kind of kamikaze at the minute…It just seems to be we will attack you, you will attack us, and we will see who comes out on top. There was a ruthless streak in Leverkusen and a quality of player that Celtic couldn’t match.”

    ME: That’s not a bad summary of where we are at at the moment and what transpired during that game. I wonder if Ange would take offense, even disagree. I doubt it. He will know that not everyone appreciates Angeball or understands the processes and requirements involved. Lennon was never a fan of that style of play.
    NL:“Are the players good enough to adapt to the way Ange wants to play? On this evidence you have to say no.”
    ME: No disagreement there. Why do you think Ange is already talking up the January transfer window. It’s not for back-up players.

    NL: “They are losing too many games at the minute. I would be really reluctant to criticise the manager. There is a rebuilding job here.”

    ME: We all used to say that at the beginning of Ange’s tenure, but the inability to defer gratification kicked in and now we’re hopeless, Ange is hopeless and rangers will definitely win the league.

    NL: “A new back five, injuries, I get all that, but the players they have brought in shouldn’t be losing all of their away games domestically and getting hammered here will damage them psychologically.”
    ME: I can agree with all that and Ange himself said there’s a psychological downside to not winning.

    So what exactly is the charge against NL? He is no longer a Celtic player or manager. He is a pundit doing what pundit’s do. They are a side show that provides a tiny bit of entertainment, even more if we can get a Sutton versus Lennon narrative going. Why all the attention to this sideshow James? Everyone’s trying to do whatever job they have to with varying degrees of success. Where there is no malice don’t introduce it just to make a lively blog post. You know there are a lot of Lennon haters out there and you’re playing to them. It’s that simple. A little bit of self-knowledge goes a long way in the blogging community

    • Jim Duffy says:

      The charge against Lennon is he was too pig headed to realise he had lost the dressing room ,he was losing the League , remember when he said if things don’t improve I’ll resign ,oh well things got markedly worse and he hung on in there because he didn’t have the decency to admit he’s got it wrong and he certainly never wanted to leave early in case some half decent manager come in and retrieved the situation to win 10 in a row ,for years I stuck by Lennon after all the shit he had to take but I think he just got too big headed or more likely deluded,he lost the dressing room and after Hibs and Bolton how did he even get the job second time round,not to mention all these rumours and hearsay about being a drunk ,I didn’t believe it at the time but now I’m not so sure.

  • Paul Calam says:

    The sooner he admits some responsibility for the debacle that would have been one of our greatest moments in football the sooner we as a fan base can move on.

    • Iljas Baker says:

      The fan base should have moved on by now as NL is no longer in the house. The board are still there. Use your voice to make sure they are not let off the hook and support Ange in the January transfer window.

  • SSMPM says:

    I agree with what Charlie Green said to be honest and I did support Lennon as our manager. Why – because he was a good servant and a good player (quite right Jim Duffy), he and his family took loads of unacceptable life threats simply because he was a North of Ireland Catholic that played for and was appointed the Celtic manager. Like with Ange, he gets my support because he was the Celtic manager.
    You are right James that he wasn’t good enough. I accept that he turned out to be ineffective in most regards when we really needed him to stand up and bring home the TIAR but James people like you were way to quick to jump in and sow the seeds of division. Ange is right – losing has a psychological downside but so does losing your supporters backing so early on and I really don’t think any responsibility has been taken for this by those supporters that turned inwards either.
    Ultimately though I agree it would be better for us all including NL if he just stopped bumping his gums and stayed on the right side. HH

  • Bigchunkylardass says:

    Hes fast becoming the new Mo Jonston in my book.


  • Tommy McQuillan says:

    The guy’s a megalomaniac James, plain and simple. He’s damn lucky he got to manage the club once, but twice, when us as supporters could see his limitations first time around. For the club to then hire him a second time is beyond belief and all the criticism that he and the board are taking for the state we find ourselves in now is 100% justified. He’s burned his boats with so many of us and as you say his legacy isn’t going to be what it should’ve been. Ange has come into a shitshow not of his own making and it’s made his job a lot harder too. The rebuild he’s got should never have been this big, an inept Lenny and board are the one’s to blame and it’s going to take some time to get our club back to being the number one team in Scotland again.

  • Iaon Robertson says:

    For Neil to say (something along the lines of) “the defence is shocking,” yes it might be but it is no worse, imo, than the defence he had (with the same backroom staff I might add) it is a shame a Celtic man, like Neil feeds the need to say such things about his old club. All the times WE stood up for him. Sad, it really is.

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