Celtic boss Neil Lennon said several frustrating things at yesterday’s press conference.
He again moved to back the board and questioned supporters’ concerns regarding the way the club is run. He produced the Jeremie Frimpong bombshell out of nowhere too.
But the most concerning thing he said was involving the rest of the Celtic players. Lennon was asked at his presser whether more Celtic players were looking to depart the club. His response? “Yes” [Scottish Sun].
When questioned on whether any would leave this month? “No”.
He was then pushed on whether he wished he sold some players in the summer. As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Lennon said: “That’s a hypothetical question. We tried to keep all our best players here to make a foray for another league title and to have another strong season.
“It’s always difficult when players are agitating but we try to settle them down. I don’t think anybody else will be leaving in the window.
“You can look at it in many different ways but we were happy with keeping the squad intact.”
Celtic boss confirms more stars want away; how does Neil Lennon manage this dressing room?
If it’s now well known amongst the dressing room that players want to leave the club, that’s concerning. That suggests a relatively toxic atmosphere within the playing staff.
It simply isn’t healthy if several other players have expressed their desire to leave to the manager. They’ll look at the Frimpong exit and wonder why that isn’t them. Why should Jeremie be given the chance to depart when other players have been there longer yet aren’t being granted exits?
The fact Lennon won’t entertain selling anyone else won’t go down too well. Especially given there’s very little to fight for between now and the end of the season.
But this is hugely worrying ahead of the second half of the season. Fans already feel that several players have downed tools. This admission from Lennon won’t help amend that train of thought either.
What the manager has effectively told us now is that he’s trying to manage an uneasy dressing room. A dressing room that contains players who will have one eye on the summer.
This, for me, was therefore the most concerning thing revealed by the manager yesterday. He’s got some job trying to negotiate the next few months now.