Neil Lennon’s latest comments criticising “a new breed” of Celtic supporters won’t have gone down too well with most. The interim manager used his pre-Hearts press conference to criticise a group of fans who he thinks have grown accustomed to success.
Lennon on a "new breed" of @CelticFC supporters.
"Since 20 years ago the only thing they have seen is success. They don't remember the 1990s as the older generation do.
"I can't take it for granted, they might. That comes from an immaturity from their point of view."
— Ronnie Esplin (@RonnieEsplin) May 16, 2019
Given Lennon’s Celtic were so inept at Ibrox on Sunday, you’d think he’d want to get back in the supporters’ good books. Instead these bewildering comments are likely to drive a greater rift between himself and the people who matter most: the fans.
Reading into the comments
Lennon’s comments seem like a bit of a cop-out. Celtic’s recent success has been magical but it’s not been by some fluke of nature.
Brendan Rodgers set the bar extremely high while in charge. Winning trophies became the norm under the Northern Irishman. Consistent victories over Rangers and having the league wrapped up by the split were two other things that Rodgers delivered. Lennon has struggled to maintain both.
Rather than criticise the fans for their reaction to an awful display Lennon should have looked to address the issues inside the club. The team looked demotivated and without idea at Ibrox and part of that boils down to him.
His latest comments may be another indication that he’s not going to be getting the job on a full-time basis. A manager with a long-term vision surely wouldn’t have come out and lambasted the fans following a shocking derby showing. Maybe Lennon knows his time is up and his comments are nothing more than a parting shot.