It's time to seriously revisit Neil Lennon's November Celtic comments

By David Walton

January 18, 2021

Right, it’s time to seriously start taking a look at Neil Lennon’s previous November Celtic comments.

The reason? He hinted strongly at when he would one day walk from the manager’s gig at Parkhead. He stated that if things deteriorated further then he would have to look at things.

This was after Celtic had just drawn 2-2 at Easter Road against Hibernian. The Hoops were still in the Betfred Cup and still had three games to salvage our pride in the Europa League. Oh, not to mention the fact we were eight points behind Rangers with a game in-hand. In other words, a likely five behind once that game was played.

These days, we find ourselves 21 points behind our rivals with three in-hand. We’re knocked out of the Betfred Cup after losng to Ross County. We lost the December Glasgow derby to Rangers at Ibrox. We lost two of our final three matches in Europe 4-1 and 4-2 respectively. Our season is all but over.

Here’s what Lennon had to say in full as quoted by the Daily Record back in November: “Absolutely not (not thinking about walking away). Look, if things deteriorated, you might have to hold your hands up. But, at the minute, I’ve got no intentions of quitting.

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“I don’t think I need to. I don’t think I even need to think about it. It’s all the outside noise that’s affecting other people. It’s not affecting me.

“I don’t feel under any pressure at all. I don’t feel that I should be under any pressure, either. We have lost one game in the league this season.”

Lennon’s November Celtic comments paint a grim picture for him

Well Neil, unfortunately, we haven’t just lost one game in the league anymore. We’ve lost two – both to our biggest rivals. We’ve also failed to win another six of them. Out of 21 league games this season, Celtic have won 13 of them.

That’s utter shocking form for a side supposed to be going for 10 straight league titles. Yet Lennon has been awfully silent on these comments. Awfully quiet on whether he needs to re-evaluate his position.

Back then, these comments were a chance for him to give himself a bit of breathing space. He didn’t expect things to explode the way they have done since. But they have, and now his comments are coming back to haunt him.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon at Ibrox / (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

He all but stated he would leave on one condition – if things deteriorated further. Saying that there’s been a deterioration almost feels like an insult. Like a total under-exaggeration of just how badly things have gone. It’s not just gotten worse. It’s totally exploded, and to the stage now where you don’t expect Celtic to win at Livingston on Wednesday night.

These comments have Neil backed into a corner. It takes a brave man to step forward and confront him about it. Because he has to be held to account for what he says to the media and to the fans.

Let’s see if Lennon bothers to revisit this. It would be fascinating to hear his view on Celtic’s plight since then.

In other news, Neil has lost one of his closest allies who’s finally recognised what needs to be done.