"Serious implications"; SPFL manager issues Celtic and Lennon defence

By David Walton

February 9, 2021

Jim Goodwin has moved to provide Celtic and Neil Lennon with a generous defence as they continue to come under fire from fans and the media.

Goodwin’s St Mirren will host Celtic tomorrow night in Paisley. And that fixture will come only 11 days after the Buddies shocked the Hoops with their first win at Parkhead in over 30 years. Indeed, that game led to yet another layer of criticism for the club and Lennon.

It’s been a disastrous season throughout thus far. Not even Rangers’ 1-1 draw at Hamilton has allowed any light relief to filter its way through the Parkhead faithful.

But Goodwin has issued a defence of the Hoops this season. Touching on the Covid pandemic, he believes the by-products of that have had a massive affect on the club.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Goodwin said: “I’ve got a lot of time for Neil. With me being a young manager, starting out at Alloa I did have a couple of conversations with Neil in games that we’ve played. He’s always been one that’s given me decent advice along the way.

“I do feel for him. The pressure that was on his shoulders, this year more than ever because of the significance of what this means to everyone involved at Celtic, to carry that pressure and burden around with you must be extremely difficult.

“Obviously to add into all that the Covid situation, there have been a number of factors that have had serious implications on Celtic. Way back in July I said the team that copes the best with the covid situation, that gets the luckiest with not having too many test positive, would be the one that goes on to be the most successful. Rangers haven’t had a great deal of positive cases.”

Celtic and Lennon have made a mess of this; no defence can protect them from that

Goodwin does his best to sympathise here. Fair play to him as well – he’s clearly a good friend of the Celtic boss. But no defence can protect this club or this football manager from the criticism they both deserve for this disastrous season.

You can blame the pandemic all you want. But it wasn’t the pandemic that forced Celtic to go to Dubai. It wasn’t the pandemic that was keeping David Turnbull and Ismaila Soro out of the team. It wasn’t Covid that secured the signing of Shane Duffy.

So many poor decisions that have nothing to do with the pandemic have affected our season badly. Decisions that could’ve been made in any other year.

Jim Goodwin and Neil Lennon / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Sure, we’ve had plenty of bad luck. The positive cases and close contacts before the first Glasgow derby, the Chris Jullien case post-Dubai. These things have undoubtedly added up to dropped points. Points that could very well have led to a more intriguing title-race this term.

But it’s by no means the main reason for our failure this season. Things such as failing to get up for games without supporters also can’t be blamed. This is down to player’s mentalities. If we had the right attitude from the word go this season, we would’ve been steamrolling over teams regardless of the fact there are no fans.

This season has been such a slap in the face to supporters. Goodwin’s comments don’t do much to change that unfortunately.

In other news, an upcoming Celtic foe appears to be in crisis.