Lennon's Celtic form this season is just as bad as Mowbray's - a hard-hitting look at this season's stats

By David Walton

December 7, 2020

Tony Mowbray’s shambolic Celtic team of the 2009/10 season often can’t be compared in terms of how disastrous it was – but a look at this season’s stats suggests they finally can.

Neil Lennon has now overseen a run of only two wins in 12 at Celtic including five home games without a victory and no clean sheets in 11 games. It’s an absolutely disgraceful run of form that has so many Celtic fans disillusioned with what’s going on at the club just now.

I had a notion today of digging into Mowbray’s period at the club to see how it compares to our current start to the campaign. Believe it or not, it yielded some worrying looking comparisons.

Let’s start off with our form in the Premiership.

So far this term Celtic have played 14 league games. It started all so brightly with only one draw and eight wins from our first nine matches. Since then, however, it’s gotten a whole lot worse with only one win in our last five. The other four being three draws and a defeat.

A new dawn beckons for Celtic in Europe, as Joe Hart shows his class once again

That means that Celtic have, in total, dropped 11 league points already this season. After 14 games under Mowbray, we had dropped 12. That leaves Lennon only one point better off than a manager many of whom will consider being the worst in the club’s history.

That’s not even mentioning the fact that Mowbray reached the quarter-final of the League Cup that year – one round further than Celtic managed this year.

As for Europe, Mowbray actually outperformed Lennon this season..and unbelievably so. The former Hoops captain managed to knock Dinamo Moscow out of the Champions League third qualifying round before being overcome by Arsenal in the playoffs.

Mowbray and Lennon’s seasons are eerily comparable

However, in the Europa League group stage, Mowbray accumulated five points after five games. It wasn’t good enough, but Neil is currently sitting with one after the same amount. He can’t catch Mowbray’s final tally of six points anymore – with an early Champions League exit to Ferencvaros also an embarrassment.

Mowbray was absolutely lambasted for a defence that was leaking goals all over the shop – similar to Lennon’s side in fact. The likes of Glenn Loovens and Gary Caldwell seemed to make a mistake every week. However, their goal record at the back isn’t as shocking as this season’s has been.

Let’s take the number of goals conceded in the Europa League and domestic games overall for both managers. If you count up Mowbray’s first 14 league games, first League Cup game, and first five Europa League fixtures – his side conceded 18 goals in all of them.

Former Celtic manager Tony Mowbray (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

If you take the number of goals Lennon’s side have shipped in those same domestic and Europa matches, you get a total of 33. That’s not far off double the total of Mogga’s defence.

Yes, Neil’s side does trump Mowbray’s on goals scored, but that’s nothing to shout about. The fact is that the season’s stats are comparable and is a stark reminder of just how bad a season we’re having.

These are the hard-hitting stats that can’t be denied. Mowbray, for all of his faults, never went five games at Parkhead without a win. He never went on a run as abysmal as two wins in 12 games.

That’s not to say he wasn’t a dreadful managerial appointment for the club, but it shows just how woeful a season we’re having. The Celtic board allowed Mowbray to carry on until March 2010 and look how that turned out. They really can’t afford to do similar this season.

If this was anyone but Neil Lennon with these stats, I believe he’d be gone.

In other news, MacLeod believes something could buy Lennon vital time in 13 days.