Celtic striker Patryk Klimala has labeled Neil Lennon as his best-ever manager as he outlined how the Hoops boss has improved his game.
Klimala has made some strides in the early part of the season as he looks to force his way into Lennon’s plans. So far this term, the Poland under-21 international has managed to get minutes in eight of our nine matches this season, bagging two goals in the process.
It’s a stark change from his end to the last campaign back in March when he had only racked up two league appearances in 10 (Transfermarkt). Coming back from the recent lockdown having bulked up whilst looking as fit as ever, Klimala has managed to kick on and make some waves this term.
And speaking on Celtic’s official website, the player discussed exactly how Lennon has managed to tweak his game this season.
“I’ve learned a lot from the manager. The most important thing he’s taught me is how to play with my back to goal. That is something we’ll have to do when we face teams who defend deep and limit the space.
“It was hard for me to adjust to problems like that when I first came here but now I feel confident in the set-up and with how the manager wants me to play.
“I feel like I’ve learned a lot more tactically under Neil Lennon than with any other manager I’ve played for so he’s definitely the best manager I’ve had in my life.”
No signs of Klimala disgruntlement despite pundit’s comments
There was a time when Klimala wasn’t being chosen by Lennon even when he was the only available striker. This was down to fitness issues at the time, but it still didn’t stop some wild opinions being thrown around by the media.
Case in point was BBC and PLZ Soccer man Tam McManus. He tweeted after our Champions League qualifying exit to Ferencvaros that Klimala should hand in a transfer trequest and look to leave immediately.
Patrick Klimala should go in & hand in a transfer request this morning. Wasting his time under the current manager. Clearly not having him at all. To not start is alarm bells but to not even get on the pitch last night chasing a game/goal tells you everything you need to know imo
— Tam McManus (@The_Tman10) August 27, 2020
It looked premature at the time, but given Klimala’s comments on how much he feels he’s improved over the last few months, they look even more ridiculous now.
Klimala will look ahead of him in the pecking order just now and see pure quality. Odsonne Edouard and Albian Ajeti are threatening to tear it up together in Scotland this season. But Lennon has shown plenty of faith in the Pole already. Enough to suggest he’ll get more than his fair share of opportunities.
There’s an acceptance of course that he can still do more. In order to really force the manager’s hand and push himself into the starting XI more often, Klimala needs to bag more than the two goals he’s found so far this term. Some of these missed chances could do with finding the back of the net.
But he continues to speak impressively well when faced with his media duties, and it’s clear there’s no frustration or spite in not getting picked for the Champions League qualifier last month. That shows a maturity, and more importantly, an understanding that he’s part of a long-term vision in Glasgow.