Andy Walker critical of Neil Lennon over Celtic defeat
Former Celtic forward Andy Walker has taken a pop at Neil Lennon over the mixed messages the Hoops boss is sending out about new signing Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo.
Lennon decided to drop the Belgian for Tuesday’s Champions League defeat to Cluj. But that came just days after the Northern Irishman stood up for his new recruit amid criticism from the press.
And Walker doesn’t understand why Lennon changed his stance so quickly.
“Neil must shoulder the blame for dropping Boli Bolingoli, the player he signed for £3 million, and shoehorning Callum McGregor into the left-back position,” Walker told the Evening Times.
“The early indications are that Bolingoli isn’t up to it, but Neil sang his praises after Saturday’s win at Motherwell, saying the Belgian had come through a hard time – and then he sits on the bench for 90 minutes alongside the £7m centre-half, Christopher Jullien.
“Celtic lost five international defenders at the end of last season and they’ve just sold another in Kieran Tierney. Yet, after spending £10m on two new signings, neither of them are used in the most important game of the season, even though they both played at the weekend and clearly aren’t injured.”
Can Lennon make Walker eat his words over Bolingoli?
The next couple of months are either going to make or break Bolingoli’s Celtic career. The Belgian has got off to a pretty disastrous start in Glasgow with patience from his fans and management clearly on the wain.
However, he could still resurrect his career if he gets down to work and does what he’s good at. He’s clearly not a bad player to have played so well for a club the size of Rapid Vienna in the Austrian top-flight. Celtic clearly saw something in him when they signed him and, for whatever reason, we’ve just not seen that come to the fore yet.
If Lennon signs another left-back then Bolingoli could be consigned to the bench for some considerable time. From there it would be pretty difficult for him to get back into the first-team and win everyone who matters over.
Celtic paid a hefty fee for the Belgian and he would have arrived with a starting spot in mind. It’s far too early to throw the towel in but the next few months are going to be crucial.