Neil Lennon hasn’t opened up on wanting the Celtic job permanently, but why wouldn’t he want it?
What a position he’s found himself landed in. An unceremonious departure from Hibs where he left them in eighth place must’ve seen him seriously pondering his next move in management.
Brendan Rodgers’ subsequent departure for Leicester couldn’t have come at a better time. Celtic and Lennon were reunited before Rodgers even had a look at his new office at the King Power Stadium.
Credit to Lennon too. He came in just when we needed someone to steady the ship. It was short notice, and by all accounts, he was getting set for a long-distance journey before answering the green-and-white call.
But let’s not pretend this isn’t all made up for Lennon either. The role is open for applications, and Lennon has the chance to deliver the most practical of them all by securing a treble this season. It was the job he likely had his eye on from the moment he became manager at Easter Road a couple of years back. Now, he has his chance to claim it.
Depending on how you look at it, it’s been a solid start. Five wins from six games against some tough opposition. Hearts, Hibernian, and Rangers have all been put to the sword under the Northern Irishman. Granted, fans have every right to feel disgruntled by the manner of some of those successes.
Lennon has consistently tried to say that he’s not looking to change anything from Rodgers’ time. This apparently comes from the fact we’ve been so successful over the last couple of years. Fair point. Why rock the boat of a team that’s won seven out of seven domestic trophies?
The answer comes in the style of play. What we’re watching under Lennon isn’t beautiful or free-flowing, but it is effective. Over the course of the next couple of years, Celtic need someone that’s effective.
Therefore, don’t be surprised if Peter Lawwell is rubbing his hands after each victory, regardless of the performance. Points and prizes always overshadow performance levels, and if Lennon guides us to the treble, the job could very well be his.
A fickle game
Football is that fickle. Not giving the job to Lennon after a treble success would be seen as a great injustice. Regardless of whether it’s the right move or not for the club, the Celtic board may very well want to be convinced by Lennon. He is, after all, a freebie to hire.
Outside of the 2-0 success at Hibs, Celtic have been boring to watch under Lennon. The constant passing around the back hasn’t stopped, and games like last night at St Mirren have been dire to watch. Throw in Hearts, Dundee, and Aberdeen into the subject of dire too.
But Lennon is getting results. At the end of the day, it’s a results-driven business, and results will drive him into the job permanently if they continue on this positive trajectory.
Nobody can argue with five wins out of six and zero unbeaten so far. Yes, performances have meant that Celtic have come oh so close to not winning in four of Lennon’s six games in charge. But the fact is they did win them in the end, and that’s all that’ll likely matter.
So whether you’re convinced by Lennon or not. Whether you’re enjoying the football by Lennon or not. The truth is, if he keeps winning, the Celtic board surely couldn’t bring themselves to not offering him the job.
The treble would simply demand it.