Celtic will reportedly make their appointment on a new manager AFTER the Scottish Cup final.
According to the Scottish Sun, the Hoops won’t be making a decision on the new man before the May 25th showpiece. Celtic face Hearts in the Scottish Cup final, with a historic treble treble on the line.
Neil Lennon has now been in charge for almost three months. During his 12 games in charge so far, the Northern Irishman has managed to win eight of them. Three have ended in stalemates, with Rangers’ 2-0 win over Celtic at Ibrox on Sunday Lennon’s first defeat.
It’s fair to assume that the Northern Irishman is in his audition for the role. Therefore, if the report is true, then Celtic are clearly letting him finish it.
Since Lennon’s appointment, a host of big names have been linked with the job. The likes of Rafa Benitez, Jose Mourinho, and Andre Villas-Boas have all been speculated as potential candidates. That’s just to name a few too.
Three months of hard work
The hope now is that during Lennon’s three months in charge, the baord have been gathering a shortlist of realistic candidates for the role. There is no reason why this shouldn’t have been the case given the board know the position we’ll be in after the Scottish Cup final.
One train of thought is that if Celtic were going to appoint Lennon then they would’ve already done so. And whilst that has some validity, it could also be the case that the board want Lennon to convince them. It’s not inconceivable to think that the club wants Lennon to prove it should be his. Whether the treble alone is enough to signify that remains to be seen.
But it’s important not to dismiss the eye-bleeding football we’ve been watching under him. Yes, Brendan Rodgers’ sides played it around the back too often. But this team under Lennon isn’t much different.
At Ibrox on Sunday, we could hardly shift the ball out of defence. Big punts up to an isolated Odsonne Edouard unsurprisingly led to nothing, with Celtic not even looking as though they had a plan of attack.
Like it or not, this all comes back to Lennon. He’s had plenty of time to whip this squad into shape, and he’s generally failed to do so.
One real argument Lennon had at the end of March was his results. After all, he had beaten Rangers 2-1 and had increased our eight-point gap to 13. Now? We sit just six points ahead having had a negative swing of seven points over the last six weeks. If we start a season like that it’ll be a near-disaster.
The board are right to wait, and hopefully, it’s so they can bring in a new man after Lennon gets the chance to enjoy the treble.