Celtic boss Lennon laughs off McCann's petty Edouard rant

By David Walton

December 23, 2020

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has ridiculed Neil McCann’s view that Odsonne Edouard’s panenka was “disrespectful” on Sunday.

With the Hoops leading Hearts in the Scottish Cup final, a spot-kick was awarded midway through the first half. Despite there being plenty of pressure on French Eddy, he slotted home with stupendous levels of class. Indeed, his composure was shown as he went for the panenka and sent Craig Gordon the wrong way.

This was subsequently bizarrely met with extreme criticism from BBC pundit McCann. Speaking on BBC Sportsound (20/12, 14:17), he said: “I can understand [Craig Gordon’s reaction]. I think that’s pretty disrespectful. It’s come off for him and it looks brilliant. It’s just selfish. I didn’t like it. It’s not because Celtic have gone two-nil up – that’s his team-mate and that’s why Craig’s reacted like that. That was a little bit cheeky.”

And it’s clear that Lennon couldn’t believe what he was reading with those comments. The Celtic manager has questioned why nobody else has been slammed for being disrespectful for doing it in the past.

As quoted by the Glasgow Times, the Celtic boss said: “You want me to caution Odsonne for scoring a penalty in a cup final? Come on. The Panenka has been around since 1976. I have seen great players doing it. I’ve seen Andrea Pirlo doing it against England.

“I don’t recall any of those individuals getting criticised or being called disrespectful. It’s complete and utter nonsense. You can’t ask anyone to warn a player after he’s scored a beautiful goal in an important game like a cup final.

“Don’t do that again Odsonne, because some people think it’s disrespectful! That’s his way at that moment of assessing the situation and executing it.”

We know why McCann was truly raging during Celtic game

Let’s be frank here. We all know why McCann was raging at Edouard’s penalty. It wasn’t because he felt it was disrespectful either.

Nope, he was just angry the quadruple treble was on its way. Something a former Rangers and Hearts player like McCann probably found difficult to stomach more than most.

There is absolutely nothing disrespectful about the panenka. Certainly none more so than when you nutmeg an opponent or show off any decent skill move. Heck, when you’re through on goal and chip the goalkeeper, is that also disrespectful?

Odsonne Edouard scores against Craig Gordon for Celtic / (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

It’s such childish discourse. McCann as a BBC pundit should be better than that instead of chosing to throw his dummies out of the pram. He should also have the decency to acknowledge the class and composure of Edouard. Something he didn’t do on the day.

And Lennon gets it right here. Is he supposed to go up to Edouard and demand he stop scoring goals from the penalty spot? Tell him to stop hitting them how he feels comfortable? It’s like the manager says, if it hits the net then it doesn’t matter.

If that was Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi it would be getting raved about. Edouard on his game brings some real class to Scotland. Therefore, It’s time for some like McCann to start appreciating that.

In other news, Lennon has lifted the lid on a concerning Lennoxtown issue.