How the last three days may affect Celtic new year review

By David Walton

January 31, 2021

So as we get ever closer to this mysterious Celtic new year review, I’m going to predict Neil Lennon will no longer be manager this time tomorrow.

Granted, several days ago I was going the other way. I believed initially that the board were going to give Lennon the gig until the end of the season. This was due to the fact we were just on the back of a win and Ben Davies was reportedly signed up [Sky Sports]. Added to that, Peter Lawwell was still at the helm.

Since then, it’s been revealed that Lawwell will be leaving in the summer, Davies may not be signing after all [Daily Mail], and Celtic have just lost to St Mirren. It’s an absolutely game-changing several events for Lennon’s future.

If they weren’t already, yesterday’s result has Celtic fans shaking their heads in despair. Perhaps the most damning thing you could say about it was that it wasn’t even as big a shock as it should’ve been. St Mirren’s first win at Celtic Park in over 30 years, and it didn’t overly surprise you.

That’s what Celtic are under Lennon now – a joke. A bit of fun for the rest of Scottish football to laugh at as we comically make a mess of the 10.

It looked as though the appointment of a new chief executive in Dominic McKay was the perfect cover for the Hoops three days ago. The perfect chance for this Lennon-adoring board to turn to supporters and say “Our review is complete. We’re getting a new chief exec and will make a decision on the manager come the summer”.

Celtic new year review can’t contain anything that defends Lennon

But fans haven’t been appeased. Celtic can’t use the McKay appointment as an excuse for more time. Not after Lennon reminded us all of just how inept he is in this job yesterday.

Celtic will have to publish their “findings” soon. Fans are restless and aren’t forgetting this. One win in six games in 2021 is a grim report card for Lennon. The loss yesterday effectively signals the end. There’s no way he can be in the dugout for the Kilmarnock game in two days. Surely not.

The club now even has its official SLO demanding some answers from this review. It can no longer be swept under the carpet. I would go so far as to say that I believe the board hoped Lawwell’s announcement was enough to chew on for now.

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

But it’s only made Celtic fans hungrier for more departures. There’s nothing stopping Lawwell from sacking Lennon now and appointing a caretaker until the summer. A manager who can take the reins temporarily before McKay decides who should tackle a vital campaign next season.

That’s now the only option. An option the club probably didn’t want to go down before the St Mirren loss. They would’ve been hoping that was Lennon finally going to string a number of wins together to cool the tension after seeing off Hamilton last week.

But instead, right at the end of the month, Lennon has produced perhaps our worst league result since 2010’s 4-0 St Mirren humiliation that led to Tony Mowbray’s exit. Now, Lennon’s Parkhead departure looks inevitable too after defeat to the Buddies.

Come tomorrow night, don’t be surprised if he’s out the door.

In other news, we discuss why this Celtic star’s days look numbered after Neil Lennon called him out.