Enough is enough: for Celtic to make any progress Neil Lennon has to go

By Euan Davidson

January 20, 2021

Celtic need to jettison Neil Lennon if the club are to go anywhere fast.

For me, that’s the sad truth of it. I take zero pleasure in saying it. I’ve defended Lennon before, against the endless sectarian abuse, the unfair reputation he has.

But I watched that Livingston game, like you. And the whole time, I hoped I wouldn’t have to write this. But it’s simple; Neil Lennon isn’t the manager Celtic need. If it weren’t for a dodgy offside not given, we’d have lost that game.

There have been mistakes from the minute this campaign started. The manager tinkered endlessly with his starting line-ups, and insisted on a back 3 that just didn’t work. We were bested by Ferencvaros in Champions League qualifying; the Hungarians went on to pick up a single point in the competition (Goal).

Lennon and the club made a scapegoat of Boli Bolingoli. He broke the rules, yes. But when Aberdeen or Rangers players did it, did they receive the treatment our left-back got? It’s hard to argue that they did.

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There was the Europa League. Last year, we had a great amount of joy in the competition. This year, it was an absolute debacle. We got turned over at home against the un-fancied Sparta Prague (BBC). A chastening, learning experience, right? No. We went to the Czech Republic and repeated the trick.

In the league, Celtic have been desperately poor. Again, at home, we didn’t muster a shot on target against Rangers. Rangers who, by the way, are miles ahead of us, despite us having 9 years to prepare for this.

Then there’s Dubai. You know about Dubai.

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

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Again, I take no joy in this.

As someone who was inspired in a lot of ways by Neil Lennon in my lifetime, I want him desperately to succeed. The resilience he’s shown against sectarianism, his bravery in discussing mental illness in sport.

All the things he did as a player, and the few glorious moments as our manager.

But enough is enough.

He’s not the man to take us forward. His body language has been dreadful, and his press conferences are regularly a debacle. Either he’s raging when he really needs to keep his cool, or he’s saying the players are world-beaters when we’ve just been turned over.

He’s turned his ex-colleagues and prominent pundits against us. People who dearly love Celtic are struggling to defend the club’s actions and the words of our manager. Our PR has taken hit after hit, and Neil Lennon’s continued presence in the dugout is a huge part of the problem.

He’s blamed British Athletics, Raith Rovers, Zenit St. Petersburg, the Scottish Government and nearly everyone else for Celtic’s misfortunes. But the excuses quickly wore thin.

Seemingly, he’s alienated the likes of Albian Ajeti, a £5m striker who can’t get a game. His substitutions are routinely bizarre. The squad just don’t look happy in the slightest.

He and his staff can’t organise a defence against the worst teams in the league, let alone Livingston. Frankly, it’s never been good enough, and it certainly isn’t good enough now.

Thank you for everything you’ve done for the club Lenny. But it should’ve happened long ago, and it’s got to happen now.