Michael Stewart slams the tactically toxic combination at 'decimated' Celtic

By John McGinley

December 6, 2020

Celtic let supporters down again today, drawing 1-1 at home to St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership.

With Rangers thrashing last week’s foes Ross County in the Highlands, it leaves Neil Lennon’s Bhoys even further adrift at the top of the table.

Inevitably this has led to renewed calls from supporters for the manager to leave the club, some of whom have again turned up outside the stadium.

BBC Sportscene was on again tonight of course, and after showing ‘highlights’ of the match, pundit Michael Stewart was on hand to dish out a bit of credible criticism of the team and its direction.

He didn’t hold back, telling the programme: “I remember before the Rangers game, Neil Lennon spoke about how the result wouldn’t determine the league, but it would have a psychological effect. It really has decimated Celtic.

They went into that game on the back of seven victories in a row, after the Ferencvaros defeat. Since that Rangers game, it has fallen apart. A lot of the difficulties you could see when they were winning games have just come to the fore.

“They can’t break teams down, and they can’t defend. It is a toxic combination.

“In the wide areas they don’t have players who are confident at committing players one vs one, they don’t get overloads in those areas either. It comes too narrow, and teams know how to play against that.”

Sadly, there’s not much to counter. It’s a pretty accurate summation of what has happened this season and why we are not picking up positive results right now.

It’s a struggle to understand why the decision-makers at the club still think Neil Lennon is the right man for the job.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It can’t be his tactics. His team selections are unimaginative, with many players not finding opportunities. He admitted his team is not fit enough earlier tonight. His press interviews are alienating supporters.

Beyond sentiment and past glories, most of which were years ago, there is barely a case for him to remain.

How many match post-mortems like Stewart’s above do Celtic fans have to go through this season before a change is made?