Celtic failed to give supporters evidence for why they're backing Neil Lennon

By David Walton

December 8, 2020

So what we know by now is that the Celtic board is backing Neil Lennon (or at least for the time being).

Last night’s statement confirmed that they’re happy to ride this dismal run of form for a little while longer. The club stated that they would review matters in the new year.

Yesterday I spoke about that particular part of the statement, but today I would like to switch focus onto some of the other comments put forward by the Celtic board last night.

“The Board has come to the conclusion that our collective objective is best served by continuing to support Neil and his team as they seek solutions for those challenges.

“Neil has the support of the players and staff at the Club. He understands the pressure and the environment. As his outstanding record as a manager, captain and player demonstrates, he knows what it takes to be successful at Celtic and he has delivered success with many of the current squad of players, who understand his method and approach.

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“Whilst it has been suggested that it is time for a change, at this stage in the season the Board believes that Neil and his management team are best placed to turn the team’s performances around and lead us on to success.”

Is this really the club’s best defence of Lennon?

Celtic knew they had to put something together to try and pass off as evidence to defend their decision. Instead, it was a lot of hot air they tried to blow in our faces instead of genuine credible arguments.

“He understands the pressure and the environment”. Eh, what? How is this even an argument to keep him in the role? If you bring in a manager of a decent enough calibre – this kind of thing means nothing. Lennon understands the pressure and the environment, but he’s failing horrifically in it.

If you or I were failing miserably at our jobs, could we go to our bosses and say “aye but I know the environment and I understand the pressure”. You’d be laughed out of the door. Any alternative option to Lennon would surely be able to understand the weight of expectation.

“He has delivered success with many of the current squad of players, who understand his method and approach”. Again, seriously? You’re honestly going to tell us a team who look so bemused at the back and so toothless going forward have a strong understanding of what Lennon is trying to do?

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

If that’s the case, it says more about Lennon’s tactics than it does anything else. If they understand his approach, why are we performing so dreadfully in all departments of the pitch? Is he telling them to make sure they move the ball slowly and predictably for example? Below is the real evidence that Celtic don’t want to entertain:

13 points behind Rangers. Out of the Betfred Cup at the first hurdle. Out of the Europa League groups (most likely without a win to our name). Two wins in 12. One win in five league games. No wins in five at Parkhead. 28 goals conceded in 12 games. One clean sheet in 12.

The above is a damning read and that’s probably why Celtic don’t want to know about it. What they tried to flog off to the supporters yesterday as reasons to keep Neil on was almost an insult.

But what else do you expect from a board so determined to try and pull the wool over our eyes so consistently?

In other news, Jackie McNamara has called on Neil Lennon to provide a barely-seen Celtic duo with more opportunities.