Neil Lennon comments may lead to Celtic return to four at the back

By John Reid

February 13, 2020

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has had some real success in recent weeks playing three defenders, however, judging by some comments made by the Hoops boss on the club’s Twitter account, Lennon might be considering moving back to four at the back, especially in Europe.

“We can adapt back”

We looked at the formation with the injuries to the wingers and changed it a little. We’re flexible with the new formation, and we can adapt back to the 4-3-3. With a back four in Europe we’ve been very good, so we’ll always look at it” the Hoops boss said.

It is true that Celtic’s brilliant performances in the Europa League group stages were based on playing with a back four.

Celtic celebrate win over Lazio / (Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

However, Celtic’s recent run of excellent performances in the Premiership have been down to playing with three at the back, and two strikers.

It has been a game-changing system, which has led to eight wins in a row in all competitions for the side.

As the Hoops boss says though, the team can be flexible with the formation they are playing.

Could use different formations for Europe and the league

Perhaps that means that away from home in Europe – for example, against Copenhagen next Thursday – the Hoops will revert to the 4-3-3.

However, when it comes to league duty, it will be a return to 3-5-2.

Celtic score against Ross County / (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

That is what the Hoops boss should aim to do. Use the 4-3-3 system at times, but more often than not, use the 3-5-2 formation that has helped the team open up a comfortable points gap at the top of the league.

The main formation from now on should be the 3-5-2, and it should only be done away with on a temporary basis.

Still, having two formations that the Hoops boss can interchange for the rest of the season can only be a good thing, and Lennon should use them when he sees fit, but 3-5-2 should take precedence.