The "who else is there" argument is tiresome as Celtic offer Neil Lennon the job

By David Walton

May 27, 2019

We’ve got so much time for big Chris Sutton at 67HailHail, as he continues to promote Scottish football as a Celtic icon.

But one of his arguments yesterday on Neil Lennon is a point that needs discussing. It’s not just big Chris saying it either, it’s a rather generic comeback to those who want to see something refreshing.

It’s an argument that many who have put their case forward for something fresh will have encountered as a retort to their desires. That old tired argument of “Who else is there?”

The job is Neil Lennon’s if he wants it (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

That’s the case Sutton put forward to BT Sport yesterday. Speaking on BT Sport’s Facebook Live show (4:10), Sutton said the following:

“Do you know what I want to hear though from these viewers getting in touch? Tell us who the alternative is then to Neil Lennon. Who would they have wanted instead? A realistic alternative.

“That’s the big deal. People banging on about Benitez and Mourinho. What I’m saying is tell us then, tell us an alternative. A better candidate.

“We have to be honest. Mourinho was never going to happen. Benitez – never going to happen. I’m sure Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond had a long think about it.”

Coming up with alternatives isn’t the supporters’ job

There are a few factors that dismiss this argument of there being nobody else more suitable. Firstly, it’s not the Celtic supporters’ jobs to go scouring around for a manager. But if fans want something different, you’re not seriously saying there’s NOBODY out there who could reinvigorate the club and has the credentials to do so. At the very least, nobody who can come in and at least be spoken to about their vision.

Chris Sutton doesn’t see much wrong with the appointment (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Saying Lennon is the only real option is just laziness. If certain fans believe it, then that’s fine. They’re entitled to believe Lennon is the best candidate. But at the end of the day, it’s the board’s job to make sure that he’s the best man for the job.

Peter Lawwell has already come out and said that the club hasn’t spoken to any other candidate (Scottish Sun). So how can you then turn around and say there was no alternative when an alternative wasn’t even searched for?

Sutton bringing up Benitez and Mourinho is fair game. Both were perhaps unlikely. But the club also didn’t bother trying to speak to the likes of Slaven Bilic, Andre Villas-Boas, and Roberto Martinez to name a few. It’s quite clear that the club hasn’t made moves to find someone else to Lennon.

Slaven Bilic is out of work and could’ve been a candidate (Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Lawwell even said post-match that Lenny would’ve been offered the job had he lost yesterday (Superscoreboard). So how long have the board decided Lenny was going to be our new manager?

At the end of the day, if Celtic scour Europe, find some suitable candidates and have an interview process – not many would’ve moaned. Had Lennon come out as the number one candidate afterward then fine. But we haven’t done that – that’s what will stick in the throats of Hoops fans.

You can bark on about saying there’s no alternative. But at the end of the day, the Celtic board barely looked for one.