Celtic manager Neil Lennon has leaped to the defence of Scottish football after Bayern Munich’s dismantling of Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men reached the Champions League final last season. However, on their own turf just two days ago, Munich ripped them apart in a 7-2 mauling. It was the most goals any English side has conceded at home in the Champions League.
Celtic, of course, have suffered some bad setbacks of their own in Europe’s premier club competition. PSG infamously came to Parkhead and rattled home five, whilst the likes of Valencia, Salzburg, and Cluj have all won at Parkhead over the last 12 months along in either European competition.
But Lennon believes that Spurs’ result shows what can happen against top sides. And, speaking in the Evening Times, Lenny also thinks people are too quick to jump on the English bandwagon.
“When you are coming up against that type of quality and they get their dander up, sometimes it can deflate you mentally as seems to have happened to Spurs. They were also punished by ruthless finishing. The quality of finishing was top class.
“It just shows you that it can happen to the best of teams. It’s more from England and they look down on the Scottish game. But we have produced and are producing good teams and good individuals who have gone on to do great things in the Premier League.
“You don’t take a view from England as they don’t see the game week-in, week-out, but sometimes people up here jump on the bandwagon and really sort of let themselves down.”
Bayern Munich performance could’ve happened to anyone
Lenny makes a great point. It’s not the first time a big side in Europe has been hammered by another. Arsenal were also taken apart 5-1 by Munich several years ago, for example.
However, when it’s Celtic, it seems to be looked upon as a joke. When Celtic get hammered it’s apparently reflective of how poor Scottish football is. When English teams lose comfortably? It’s down to the quality of the opposition.
The fact is you can’t have it both ways. When we do qualify for the top competition, we know we’re up against it. As supporters, we understand there can be a few bruisings. But it’s simply down to the difference in budget and the profile of player both sides can attract.
It’s by far more of an embarrassment for English sides to lose heavily than Celtic. Our record signing is worth £9million. That’s effectively pocket-money these days for even the bottom half clubs in the Premiership.
It’s difficult to know whether Lenny is talking about pundits or supporters when it comes to those letting themselves down. There have been plenty of pundits who have either played up here or have a solid understanding of the financial constraints, yet love to have a bash at our football teams. Charlie Nicholas being one.
But, as usual, Lennon is spot on. Wait until we receive our next hammering to a top side in Europe. The narrative from down south will be the quality of Scottish football. It’s hardly the same when it’s the other way around. That’s exactly why it’s difficult to take English fans’ views on our game seriously.