Celtic vs St Johnstone is the first of many final chances for Neil Lennon

By David Walton

December 6, 2020

We may have a routine December schedule ahead of us, but all that does is fire a lot more pressure onto Neil Lennon ahead of a crucial month in the title-race.

Celtic today face St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership. Defeat and many will believe that our quest for 10-in-a-row is over. A win will hopefully be a nice springboard onto a run of form that takes us nicely into the game at Ibrox on January 2nd.

However, even if Lennon does take the points today – regardless of how convincingly or unconvincingly he takes them – he shouldn’t ever be more than one game from the sack this month.

Listen, we’ve nailed our colours to the wall on where we stand with the manager at 67HailHail. We’ve long since thought a change was necessary. But there comes a time where you do have to look forward and look at how Neil can recover from this. He isn’t going to be sacked unless things get worse, and nobody wants things to get worse. Nobody who can consider themselves a Celtic fan at least.

But the truth of the matter is that the gaffer really shouldn’t be keeping his job if any further ground is lost to Rangers. Especially when you look at how kind the fixture list is for him.

Dismissing the Europa League dead-rubber against Lille (although a win would be nice Neil), Celtic have six games that really should be used to build vital momentum ahead of the seventh against Rangers.

A nice-looking list of fixtures

In the Premiership, Celtic host Kilmarnock and Ross County after today’s game vs Saints. A trip to Hamilton then follows before another home match against Dundee United. That’s home games against the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 10th ranked sides in the Premiership. Our away trip is against the team sitting bottom. Oh, and there’s a nice chance to win a Scottish Cup against Hearts in there too.

In other words, the real difficult games are behind us for now. Anything other than a flawless month and it really is time to bring the curtain down on Lennon’s tenure ahead of the January window.

Last week’s Betfred Cup home defeat to Ross County was bad enough. But what saved Lennon was perhaps the fact it was only the Betfred Cup. Before Brendan Rodgers turned this club into an animal with a thirst for total dominance, early League Cup exits were never surprising.

Neil Lennon and John Kennedy watch Celtic lose to Ross County (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

But Lennon has seen us knocked out of three competitions already this season. The Betfred Cup followed on from eliminations from the Champions League and Europa League respectively.

We can’t be knocked out of the league, but we can make it almost impossible for ourselves to claw back a certain deficit. More progression towards that deficit shouldn’t be accepted.

Today’s game against St Johnstone, therefore, represents the first of many final chances for Neil this month. Hopefully, he can guide us to a six-game win streak to take to Ibrox.

In other news, a 14-goal Championship striker “would’ve walked to Celtic”.