"Where is your professional pride?"; ex-Celtic captain Paul Lambert points fingers

By Euan Davidson

January 23, 2021

Former Celtic captain Paul Lambert has backed his ex-team-mate Neil Lennon.

Lambert, a Champions League winner with Borussia Dortmund, put Celtic’s players under the microscope. In a vehement defence of the incumbent manager, the Ipswich boss blasted the Bhoys’ under-performing stars.

The former Norwich and Aston Villa boss was part of a formidable midfield engine with Neil Lennon. Now, with both in managerial roles, it’s the players Lambert has called into question.

He also had a few choice words for the Celtic legends criticising Lennon. Lambert wondered aloud if a Rangers boss like Ally McCoist would receive the same treatment from his former colleagues.

In quotes attributed to the Daily Record, Lambert said:

“The players need to take a good look at themselves as well. This isn’t me diverting the blame away from Neil because everyone in management knows the buck stops with you.

“He needs to take his share of how things have unfolded this season. But how about the players taking some responsibility?

“Where is your desire to go out and win a football match? Where is your professional pride?

“Maybe too many of them have their sights set on moving away. They might just find the moves they thought they might have lined up might not be there after how they have performed this season.

Paul Lambert in 1998 / (Credit: Clive Brunskill /Allsport)

Former Celtic captain Lambert offers stinging rebuke

Capped 40 times by Scotland, and a winner with BVB, St Mirren and – of course – Celtic, Lambert’s comments hold weight.

Lambert was tentatively linked with the Celtic job should Lennon leave, but distanced himself from any talk [Glasgow Times].

He also covered ex-pros who had plenty to say about the current situation at Celtic Park:

”I should make it clear here that I’m not having a go at the many former Celtic players who work in the media and have enough skin in the game to call it as they see it.

“There are many who I totally respect and I would consider them fair and balanced.

“Maybe I’m blinkered, maybe I’m in the wrong for thinking if you have nothing nice to say about a friend then don’t say anything at all.

But I just don’t think you need to call for a former teammate to be sacked.

“I’m not going to name names, but I did call one up the other night and told him he was a disgrace. He couldn’t wait to get out of Celtic when the chance to move to England came about. I reminded him of that. I reminded of how much help Lenny gave him both on and off the park.”

Our take: fair points from Celtic legend

While we have nailed our colours to the mast in regards to our struggling manager, Lambert is right here.

All sorts of names, from the obscure to the legendary, have lined up to criticise Neil Lennon. We don’t think Lambo is referring to Chris Sutton here, who through his criticism of Celtic has defended Lennon as a competitor.

In fairness to some of the players, not everyone has gone quiet as Celtic’s crisis has rumbled on. Mohammed Elyounoussi has been robust in his own comments about the problems at the club. Leigh Griffiths has had his own take on Celtic’s myriad critics, too.

However, ex-players are going to be asked about their feelings on Lennon’s situation. Should they lie, and hide what they genuinely think?

Or, are there some who are using these newsworthy times at the club to boost their own profile?

It’s hard to say.