Lennon's failure to entertain Celtic fan concerns is badly damaging his reputation

By David Walton

February 1, 2021

Lennon’s Celtic reputation was right up there in the summer.

A man well acknowledged as being “one of us” by a supporter base that couldn’t help but adore him for the success he’s brought to Celtic.

But the biggest challenge Lennon was going to face here hadn’t yet met him. It’s not just the 10-in-a-row charge that was going to be the main test of his character. It was the adversity that this season was always going to bring.

That’s what was going to be a true measure of how big a Celtic man Lennon was. How much of a supporter of the club he truly is. Was he willing to sacrifice himself to save our holy grail of the 10?

Back in 2010, Lennon apparently told his players at Rugby Park that they had to salvage a 3-0 deficit if they wanted him to stay. He would’ve resigned according to him if we’d have lost that one [The Telegraph].

Easy to say of course after the game itself. After your team has actually come back and managed a 3-3 draw. I believed the manager at the time, but now I’m highly doubtful he would’ve walked.

Because the situation back then wasn’t as severe as it is now. Yet fast forward to 2021, when Lennon’s team is failing to turn up for him, and he’s acting as though questions over his future are scandalous.

Lennon’s Celtic reputation continues to take a battering

At today’s presser, he was asked by a BBC reporter whether he would consider his position after Peter Lawwell’s retirement announcement. Lennon was bullish. He actually decided to question why he should have any intention of quitting:

“Why would it be my intention to go? Peter’s decision has nothing to do with my position at all, or my coaches or any of the players. So I don’t understand the context of the question at all.”

Oh I don’t know Neil. Maybe the fact we’re 23 points behind Rangers? The fact we’ve lost to Ross County and St Mirren at Parkhead this season? Perhaps due to another dismal European campaign in which we failed to qualify for the Champions League or beyond the Europa group stage? Maybe because not one of your summer signings can say they’ve performed for the whole season? Or perhaps just the fact you’ve ruined nine years of hard work with your own stubbornness.

Just a thought. Because if a loss at Rugby Park was enough to see him resign in 2010, what on earth is he waiting for this year? What gives him any right to think he’s still the man for the job?

Neil Lennon has consistently snubbed questions on his job / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

When fans initially wanted Lennon out before the turn of the year, he was equally dismissive. He stated there was “no justification” in sacking him [STV]. When supporters demanded Lawwell resign, the Celtic boss scoffed at the idea. Apparently as a Celtic fan he “can’t understand’ the anger towards the board [Daily Record].

Celtic boss has taken a costly approach

This approach has been so costly. In truth, it’s been just as damaging as his results this season. This disdain he seems to have for supporters’ views has done nothing to protect him from criticism.

You’re not telling me that had Lennon left in October, he would’ve been ridiculed. He would’ve been respected by the supporters and acknowledged for being big enough to acknowledge when his time is up.

But his constant defending of himself and the board from supporter criticism has done him no favors. It’s sped up the demand for his departure. Yet you get the feeling the more we call for it, the more Lennon will stay stubborn. Had we won at Ibrox, it wouldn’t have surprised me if he came out with similar nonsense about resigning like he did at Rugby Park over a decade ago.

This isn’t the character I believed him to be. I, for one, have felt totally let down by Lennon both on the pitch and off it this season. It’s no wonder, when you see his latest phase of bewilderment over questions on his future, that his reputation amongst fans has been badly damaged.

In other news, one Celtic star believes these wild Lennon decisions have affected the team.