We’ve been the first to have a pop at Neil Lennon when necessary.
However, one thing I just can’t have a go at the manager for is his persistence with Odsonne Edouard.
The former PSG starlet has been a constant in Lennon’s starting XI in recent months. He started five of the six games of our dismal Europa League run, whilst he also started recent poor performances against St Johnstone and Ross County respectively.
The Frenchman has been going through a bit of a slump in recent times, with only one league goal in seven matches. But Lennon has continued to stick by him and again selected the out-of-form centre-forward to face Kilmarnock on Sunday.
It was another blank for Odsonne as he missed two big chances in the second half to get back on the goal trail again. It appears that his display wasn’t greeted well by some Celtic fans who appear to want him dropped for his recent form:
Only thing Lennon must do is bin Edouard #CelticFC
— Celtic Now And Forever ☘️ (@celtic_now) December 13, 2020
Edouard just isn't at it for me, I'd honestly just get Klimala on, at least he busts a gut every time he's on the pitch.
— Celtic Thoughts (@celtic_thoughts) December 13, 2020
Hate to say it but I think Edouard has already left Celtic in his head and will be out the door next month, lets see more of Klimala now!
— Celtic_Bhoy1888 (@bhoy1888_celtic) December 13, 2020
What Lennon has said regarding next week and the line-up isn't something I'm putting too much thought into tbh.
Could mean a multitude of things and we won't know exactly til the line up is announced next Sunday.
Edouard doesn't get in the team for me though I know that much
— Paul Mcginley (@PaulMcG1994) December 13, 2020
With his job on the line, Lennon has every right to stick by Edouard
You have to put it into context to understand why Lennon has generally stuck by Edouard.
The Frenchman has produced so often for the manager over the last two years. He’s come up trumps in Glasgow derby games, European games, and cup finals. When Celtic go to the likes of the San Siro or have big matches where Lennon is under pressure to win, he’ll always go with Edouard.
Yes, you could use the same defence for Scott Brown who we would all agree needs dropped more consistently, but Edouard isn’t anywhere near the captain’s age. We know Brown is slowing up – that isn’t the case with Edouard (or it shouldn’t be anyway).
Edouard is undoubtedly out of form, but it’s unfair to even accuse the manager of never dropping him. He has done on multiple occasions this season. Patryk Klimala was given a shot against Lille on Thursday night whilst Edouard was on the bench against Hibernian several weeks ago in a huge away game. It was the same when we won at Motherwell before the November international break also.
He’s dropped Edouard on several occasions, but when his back is against the wall he’s going for the striker he’s been able to hang his hat on so often in the past. A striker who we know is capable of turning it on instantly. It’s not as if Albian Ajeti hasn’t had chances to impress, whilst Klimala came on against Kilmarnock at the weekend after impressing vs Lille.
It’s so easy to say drop Edouard because he’s going through a slump in form. But he has quality that you just know is going to return in the big games. When Celtic face Hearts in the Scottish Cup final on Sunday, it would seem crazy not to play Odsonne. Not when he’s consistently been the man for Lennon on the big occasion.
We can have a pop at the manager for plenty this season, but he can’t be bashed for doing all he can to try and get his best striker clicking again.