Neil Lennon details memorable Celtic bust-up with Martin O'Neill

By John Reid

August 22, 2020

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has disclosed that during his playing days at Celtic Park he once had a bust-up with Martin O’Neill which ended with the then Hoops boss not speaking to Lennon for a month.

Lennon made the revelation on the Off The Ball show on YouTube, which also featured appearances from fellow Celtic greats Chris Sutton and Stiliyan Petrov.

When asked about if there was any arguments during Celtic’s hugely successful time under O’Neill, Lennon told a brilliant story.

“A few run-ins”

“I had a few run-ins with him” Lennon said, regarding O’Neill.

Neil Lennon and Martin O’Neill celebrate a Celtic result in Barcelona (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

“I had a run-in with him at Celtic He didn’t speak to me for a month after it. I used an expletive during a game at him, and he hauled me off at half-time. He kept picking me, but he didn’t speak to me for a month!”

It is the sign of a good manager that even though they weren’t talking, that didn’t stop O’Neill from picking Lennon in the team.

That showed that O’Neill was more interested in team success than petty gripes, which is the correct attitude to have.

Significant influence on Hoops boss

You have to think that when it comes to managerial influences, O’Neill must be one of Neil Lennon’s biggest. After all, O’Neill thought so much of Lennon that not only did he manage him at Leicester City, he signed him for Celtic.

Would Neil Lennon be as successful a manager at Celtic had he not had those years playing under Martin O’Neill? Probably not.

Neil Lennon as Celtic manager (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

O’Neill changed the culture completely at Celtic. The Hoops were struggling to compete with Rangers until he arrived at the club. O’Neill installed a winning mentality that has seen Celtic dominate Scottish football for the last 20 years.

Lennon has taken the lessons he learned as a player and used them as a manager, and the Celtic support have to be grateful for that.

In other news, Neil Lennon hopes that Celtic can benefit from Henrik Larsson’s move to Barcelona.