Tom English appears to now agree with Celtic fans after scathing October verdict
Senior BBC journalist Tom English appears to agree with the Celtic fans and their rage towards the club after previously lashing out at them.
Back in October after the Hoops had dropped behind Rangers in the title race, Hoops fans were worried. Neil Lennon was struggling to build up any sort of momentum both domestically and in Europe. In addition to that, none of his big-name summer signings were making an impact.
English used comments like “hypocrites”, “bed-wetting”, and “drunk on success” when describing the Celtic supporters’ attitude towards their manager several months ago (BBC). Yet despite those scathing comments, even he has now described their descent into chaos as “remarkable”
The BBC man, who always prompts heavy debate and responses from Celtic supporters, has discussed Celtic’s latest Dubai disaster, and he’s certainly not pulling any punches.
“This season of theirs has thrown up a number of grim moments, from the Champions League exit against Ferencvaros, to the Europa League maulings against Sparta Prague, to the domestic losses against Rangers and Ross County and the ugly scenes that happened in that period.
“All of those told us much about the deterioration in playing standards, but the mental image of the manager, the assistant, the captain, the chief goalscorer and a dozen others watching the game against Hibs from the self-isolation of their own living room is an illustration of how awry things have become elsewhere in the club.
“They might have left their problems behind for the guts of a week in the United Arab Emirates but those issues have multiplied now. They’re getting pelted with flak for their own recklessness while being laughed out of town for the abject situation they’ve plunged themselves into. Right now, everything seems a struggle for them. Their slide into chaos has been remarkable.”
Tom English now seeing what Celtic fans worryingly foresaw
This is exactly why it wasn’t “bedwetting” to want Lennon gone in October. Remember, English had spoken after the Hoops had just gone on a three-game winless run. We’d lost to Rangers and AC Milan far too comfortably. We then threw away a lead at Pittodrie to drop another two points.
Celtic fans wanted change back then to avoid what was inevitably going to happen. And it’s important to remember that it’s not just the slip-ups that raised cause for concern. This is a key point. The Celtic support didn’t just see our first couple of slip-ups of the season and go “Lennon out”.
This was to do with the all-round performances between August and late October. We were fortunate to come away from Tannadice and McDiarmid Park with the points. Fortunate to beat a struggling Livingston team at Parkhead and also could easily have dropped points against St Mirren too.
That’s forgetting the struggles we had already gone through against European minnows such as Riga and Sarajevo. The embarrassment of Ferencvaros and the dropped points at Rugby Park. Celtic fans had tasted what was just a drop of things to come and didn’t like it. Our reward for that was to be told we were being “hypocrites”.
Only now are these views from supporters starting to become mainstream. Yesterday Sky Sports reporter Anthony Joseph expressed his concerns on Twitter over the way the club is run. Now English has done the exact same, with Lennon’s management included.
Celtic supporters only wanted change when everything was still salvageable. Now? It’s a thankless task for any new manager to build some momentum this season if we ever go for one.