Celtic academy coach Darren O’Dea has launched a passionate defence of Neil Lennon’s record as he ridiculed the idea the Hoops manager’s time is up.
The Parkhead faithful have generally had enough with recent performances and results, with many left fuming at the club’s backing of Lennon earlier this week.
Granted, what hasn’t been discussed much is what Lennon has achieved with the club overall since coming back to Parkhead. The manager is closing in on a quadruple treble which he will secure if he beats Hearts this month, whilst he also managed to make the Europa League last-32 last season.
And it’s clear that O’Dea believes Lennon should be going nowhere.
Speaking on the Go Radio Football Show tonight, O’Dea said: “I’m not going to lie and say I don’t have any loyalty to Neil Lennon or the club. I’m not going to come here, even if I thought they really needed change, and say I would shout from the rooftops, because I wouldn’t. I’m going to patronise people and say I would.
“You talk about statistics, they’ve won two in 10 which is by Celtic’s standards is unacceptable, Neil Lennon’s not trying to defend that either, he’s not saying they are in good form. If you want to throw statistics out, they’re potentially about to complete a quadruple Treble, they’ve lost their first domestic cup game in 35, they’ve won nine titles in a row.
“Neil Lennon has been a massive part of all of that. If you want to talk about two wins in 10, how about you talk about the nine years previous to that? I don’t really get this two in 10. If you want to talk about statistics, they back up that Neil Lennon should still be in a job, not the other way around.”
Statistics don’t keep managers in jobs – results do
This isn’t a great look. Back in October, Lennon’s agent Martin Reilly confronted supporters on Twitter and ridiculed some of their opinions. To now have an official club employee in O’Dea openly challenge the fans isn’t ideal.
The club really should be keeping quiet and stop trying to tell the supporters what they should be thinking. We’re entitled to our own views on what’s happening with our club, because we’ll be here long after anyone working at Lennoxtown.
At the end of the day, it’s extremely simple. Stats don’t keep managers in jobs – performances and results do. You can’t just throw some numbers out there to excuse what fans have been watching all season. If Lennon was doing such a grand job, there wouldn’t be such frustration from supporters towards his displays.
Also, O’Dea uses the term “quadruple treble” as if it was something that Lennon achieved alone. Seven of those 12 trophies had already been won before Lennon arrived whilst the eighth was more or less close to being completed.
You can’t deny Lennon did well to win the treble last season, that goes without saying. However, his remit was to win the 10, and this season he’s failing miserably in that goal.
It’s time for the club to put a halt to nonsense like this. If they’re going to take the risky move to back Lennon for the foreseeable, they should draw the line at having their employees tell us how we should feel about it.