Rangers' Florian Kamberi should be thanking Celtic manager Neil Lennon

By David Walton

February 4, 2020

We all know that Florian Kamberi lacks plenty on the football field, but it’s a shame that he seems to also be lacking in a bit of class too.

The new Rangers striker, signed on loan from Hibernian on deadline-day, isn’t coming across as well as you hope he would’ve liked.

Kamberi was asked whether winning the title would be much sweeter with Neil Lennon in the opposite dugout, with Lenny being his former manager at Hibs. His following response, as published by the Daily Record, was pretty poor:

Hibernian’s Florian Kamberi (David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

“Yes, of course.

“It is the dream of everyone to bring title number 55 home to Ibrox and every player is motivated to do that. The football world is very small and it’s funny how it works sometimes. At one time Neil Lennon was my coach and I was scoring goals for him.

“But now he’s on one side and I’m on the other and we are trying to do the best for our respective teams. What I had with him is now in the past – we had a successful time together – but now I’m here and fully focused with Rangers and Steven Gerrard as my manager.”

Kamberi’s last paragraph doesn’t save him

It’s bizarre to hear Kamberi say that having Lennon on the opposite bench would make a title win sweeter. Of course, there was a reported falling out between the pair at Hibs that ultimately led to Lennon leaving the club (Daily Record).

However, before he starts salivating at the prospect of beating Lennon to a title, he should remember just who the Celtic manager is.

Lennon was the one to bring Kamberi to Scotland and gave him the platform to perform in the Premiership. He signed him back in June 2018 after winning promotion to the Premiership, and played him in matches at the likes of Celtic Park, Ibrox, and Tynecastle respectively. He got his name out there.

Neil Lennon (Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

And let’s not kid ourselves – Rangers didn’t sign Kamberi because of his form this season. He only has three league goals all season. Hardly groundbreaking stuff (Transfermarkt).

No, he would’ve been signed by Steven Gerrard thanks to what Lennon managed to get out of him between 2018 and 2019. In Kamberi’s first season in Scotland, he managed to fire in goals against both Celtic, Rangers, and Hearts respectively.

His goal ratio wasn’t great with only 13 for that campaign (Transfermarkt), but he stepped up in the big games. When the cameras were on him, Kamberi turned up. That was under Lennon, who consistently gave him the chance to make a name for himself in higher-profile matches.

So the next time Kamberi wants to get excited at beating Lennon to anything, he should remember who effectively gave him the chance to earn his move to Glasgow.