Celtic boss Neil Lennon in it for the long haul, blasts peers in astonishing quotes

By Euan Davidson

February 7, 2021

Celtic boss Neil Lennon claims he’s enjoying himself, and looking to the future.

Without a hint of sarcasm, the Bhoys’ manager took aim at ex-colleagues again, claimed he was having fun, and talked about the next few seasons. In an all-round astonishing interview, Lennon first claimed that Celtic-orientated pundits had “sold their soul” [Glasgow Live]:

“I have seen it with other people, peers of mine, looking to court public opinion, get more followers, get more clickbait and that type of stuff. These people have sold their souls a little bit and I’m quite happy with the way I have dealt with things.

“My conscience is completely clear in terms of how I have gone about my work, too.

“It certainly galvanises me I’ve said before that in a perverse sort of way, I quite enjoy it.

“I don’t believe it because I have evidence to back up what I have achieved in the game here and what I can achieve going forward.

“We have gone through a really adverse season for numerous reasons and it’s not all down to football. That’s something that people don’t really get a grasp and maybe don’t want to get a grasp of either. They choose to ignore those factors.”

He’s not listening / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Celtic boss’ ‘clickbait’ assertions, and even more worrying comments

For the avoidance of doubt, “clickbait” is when a headline is deliberately misleading. John Hartson, Chris Sutton or any other ex-Celts talking about Lennon’s job; none of them have used “clickbait”. For one thing, they aren’t in control of the headlines being used, and equally, they’ve been incredibly forthright.

That may seem like semantics, but a refresher in what the phrase actually means is always useful. Also, nobody is ignoring the impact of Covid-19, it’s just that Lennon is constantly bringing it up when it hasn’t affected our fiercest rivals one iota.

Also, I’m sorry, but pundits are paid to give their opinion. Sutton and Hartson are in-demand, experienced commentators on the game they played with distinction. They aren’t looking to “court” public opinion, they are asked by large broadcasters what they think about what’s going on. It’s bizarre not to expect criticism or praise when it’s due. To suggest they’ve “sold their souls” in not defending some of the garbage decision making from our boss is absolutely ridiculous.

Hearing that Lennon “enjoys” his current predicament is concerning in its own way. There’s been little to get excited about this season, and supporters are vocal in increasing numbers about wanting rid of the manager. It would take an absolute masochist to have fun as Celtic manager just now.

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

Celtic boss Neil Lennon talks “three, four seasons going forward”

And then it happened.

Neil Lennon suggested he was at Celtic for the long-haul. There are some in the support who equate honest analysis of Lennon is criticism of him as a person. We can’t be clearer on this: that’s not the case. So when I suggest that Neil Lennon shouldn’t be the Celtic manager any more, I’m not relishing in any sort of personal attack.

The ex-Bhoys captain continued:

“You sit here and think about things, you analyse and talk about it and try to get the best out of the team. We haven’t been able to do that this year but I’m not running out on my players I’m not giving up on my players.

“I think we have got a fine squad. It’s not been our year and, hopefully, that can change over the next one, two, three, four seasons going forward.”

Kudos for self-belief, but if Celtic keep Neil Lennon beyond the summer, then don’t expect fan discontent to be quelled any time soon. Whether Lennon is saying this out of earnest belief he’s the best man for the job, or he’s trying to lull the board into keeping him on is unclear.

Lennon’s job was to take that “fine squad” and win 10IAR. He hasn’t been able to, in the most dismal, disappointing way we could’ve imagined.

It’s good that our manager is so confident. But based on this season, his confidence is incredibly misplaced.

Read more: after yesterday, the goalkeeping department needs looked at once again.