Here we are again then. Picking the bones over a poor Celtic performance.

This time, unfortunately, it’s a display that will sting a bit longer than usual.

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers have the measure of Neil Lennon’s team and there’s no getting around that fact after today’s 2-0 defeat.

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Defenders of the current malaise hanging over Celtic Park will point to a depleted squad as the primary reason that we lost the fixture.

However, the reality is that the performance and result were not as surprising as they were disappointing.

I backed the team to raise their game this afternoon and put right the wrongs of December’s derby, but Lennon’s team played much in the same way they have all season – bereft of ideas and completely one dimensional.

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Like many derbies over the last couple of seasons, an organised Rangers outfought and tactically outfoxed us.

It can’t continue.

That’s not to say I think the manager should be sacked tomorrow, as a kneejerk reaction.

 

More that the club, from top to bottom, need to look seriously within themselves and ask serious questions about the direction of the team.

Everything has to be on the table and yes, I include the future of the manager in that.

Is he still the right man for the job? Do these players want to play for him? If Gerrard has the better of him in these games then what does it mean for our title chances? What kind of recruitment search would the club do if he did leave? Are there better options out there? Does Lennon actually deserve more time, given his track record of success?

These are all difficult questions that will be speculated on a lot over the next few days by fans and pundits. But the only people that can answer them are the decision-makers inside Celtic Park.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Celtic manager Neil Lennon / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

What I know is that the status quo can’t continue. Either Lennon quickly improves performances and results in our biggest games, or events will only move in one direction.

If you look at the fixture schedule you may be aware that Celtic are at serious risk of unravelling here.

A confident Milan arrive at Paradise on Thursday, before a tricky trip to Pittodrie to face Aberdeen next Sunday. It’s a doubleheader that, sadly, I don’t have full confidence of securing positive results in.

With a trip to Lille following before a Hampden date against the Dons again, things aren’t getting any easier after the visit of Rangers.

Neil Lennon disagreed with Nicola Sturgeon's idea

Celtic manager Neil Lennon / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The next fortnight presents a rocky road and with questions now looming over the squad and coaching staff, the pressure is on.

How the manager and his team respond will determine whether this project has a future or not.

In other news, Neil Lennon has provided a fitness update on Odsonne Edouard.

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