Implicit backing for Neil after a long 48 hours


It was a long 48 hours before yesterday’s statement from chief exec, Peter Lawwell.  He explicitly acknowledged “hurt, disappointment and frustration following the team’s recent results”, but the implicit backing was there for “Neil, the players and the backroom staff”.

I have been critical of Neil’s decision in recent weeks, team plans change every hour but we do not appear to know how fix the fundamental problem.  What actually is wrong? is a harder question to answer than it appears.  It was not playing three at the back (or four), nor was choosing one player over another.  If only it was as simple as a solitary scapegoat in the team.  There is bigger question: Is the problem actually the manager?

It could be.  Responsibility to fix team structure certainly lies with Neil, but there are doubtlessly other things going on that few of us are aware of.  Neil carries the can, but he would be gone if the board thought that was all there is to the story.

Winning the league is going to take a huge effort this month and successful recruitment next month.  Having been denied the opportunity to scout players during the spring and summer, a great deal of work has gone into preparing for January.  Do the club have faith in this work?  Would another manager ‘put his name’ to those targets blind?

Your recruitment strategy goes out the door with the manager.  My suspicion is the club weigh the need for squad additions higher than changing the manager.  These are the questions that separate those who are paid the big bucks from those who write blogs.  Thankfully……

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It will rekindle memories you had forgotten and give insight into how the leagues were won.

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  1. I also believe with the right galvanised attitude and a few tweaks it can be turned around. Momentum / confidence / alignment and a little bit of over due disruption across the city and we can get back in this.



    One thing is crystal clear over there. Neither Gerrard or McAlister are the lead guys. Beale makes the difference. The unrest when he was out of sorts last spring was palpable.




    being a sub.



    I hated being a sub, in my heid everytime I looked at who was picked and thought wtf , he is rubbish.



    I took it well though. I would run up and down the touchline giving the person picked before me on the left wing a sherricking, suttle, quite, under my breath, your pish, blue eyed boy, picked cos your a hun, your a shitebag, you know all that good stuff to support a team mate.



    wasnt subtle enough, one week i turned up expecting to play and was dropped all together, ragin i was.



    me and two others who though we were first picks stormed off, calling the manger a plick.



    we came back to the park later, eldorado and merrydown,



    slagged the coaching team non stop from start to finish, we got beat, deflection tactics employed, it was all our fault, not thems.






    that was under 16s football back in the 80s.

  3. glendalystonsils on

    !!BADA BING!! on 2ND DECEMBER 2020 5:59 PM



    Just back on and caught your post . I am delighted that the very fair , Michael Stewart has now got some alternative TV time along with the equally fair WGS . You won’t hear either of them say they’re fed up with Celtic winning the league or that it’s Celtic’s fault Hearts were relegated .

  4. on a less humouress note – if anything i type is.



    i really realy hate when anyone describes any other person as a cancer.

  5. Watching Bolingoli’s team, currently at 3-3 vs Leipzig. Guy called Kahveci scores 3 beauties, all from outside the box, including a superb free kick. The precision of the shooting and dead pieces should be studied by our players and management, because we have not one player with this type of ability.

  6. Another belter from outside the box. Basaksehir 3 – Leipzig 4. So different from the desultory crap we have been watching for weeks.

  7. Now I would never give advice to the disciples of darkness. They are masters of bigotry, corruption and manipulation.



    However I’m sure Follow Follow etc will be taking pointers from CQN on how to stick the boot into Neil Lennon, Peter Lawwell and the greater Celtic Family.


    I’ll wager they will be mighty impressed on our contribution. They’ll maybe need a rethink on just who are the masters of denigration.



    HH to all Celts.

  8. Martim 90



    What I find sad is that you have to invent rather pitiful explanations in your mind to rationalise our mistakes.


    The employee knows exactly what stopped the transfer going through 250K.


    Now if you go to the trouble and expense to watch a player,do countless hours of homework, hire a private jet on your employees advice then go against his judgement of a player to save 250K then lose out on that player. Then the CEO and no other person or excuse you have invented in your head is responsible. You are overuling someone’s professional advice, if that is the wrong decision then the CEO and only the CEO, carries the can. The excuses and things that are nothing to do with our highest paid employee given by some fans is laughable. He has all the power yet is responsible for nothing, I need a job like that.



    In case you’re wondering how the player did when he was watched by Lawell and the employee he scored a hat trick from Centre Half. Normally when going to watch a specific player someone steals the show, not on this occasion.



    Live in your own fantasy world if you want I prefer reality.

  9. Truth does not belong to one who shouts loudest.



    Many things have affected Celtic this season- personally, I feel our special support makes a huge difference home and away and the players miss them. Refs without scrutiny and the fact they’re still in it- dark arts at work.



    Some people have had it in for PL for years.




    And it’s the same people shouting loudly again and they assume they’re right. I do remember one esteemed blogger (JF) on here, suggesting they replace him with Brian McClair- a great footballer and decent youth coach, head of youth development but not in a million years a CEO.



    The same as all of you I don’t know much personally about PL (other than he and his family are huge Celtic suppprters)



    Up close people who i come across who don’t like PL generally don’t give a suggestion of a CEO who could do well in the unique position of Celtic FC and secondly who out of a capable group or list would actually want the job.



    The second thing I notice, is they mention him a lot when we get beat but never, ever when we win. What’s happening right now completely highlights how 9 in a row and treble treble was as easy as it was claimed. It takes work, lot’s of it mostly that you do not see.



    Thirdly many say they could do a better job than PL – fair enough and I admire such confidence, however, generally this is often people at the game etc, and you kind of think, if you were in the game of selecting CEO or for a club the size of Celtic or even qualified with the experience to lead in such a role- you wouldn’t be sat here moaning about the price of a capri sun (admittedly they are too expensive at CP)



    Our club has unique challenges, our support is so eclectic and I love that diversity but it really does mean our own, individual visions of Celtic FC are different and, therefore, it must be a nightmare to appease- easiest way is to win with style. The idea that some or more than some in our support have entitlement issues, recently maybe, i think it’s possible also that there are alot more hunterlopers.



    I have been less than constructive in some comments but I only match what I see as empty, non statements. Used to love the reasoned debate on here 🍀

  10. Philboy,



    Just finishing a lovely Montalcino and listening to some wonderful music in the Queens Gambit.



    Just thought I would pen a humorous note —- please chill and don’t get so worked up PB.



    Even a defeat to TFOD of darkness doesn’t get me angry —- nothing in football can. I somehow feel that may be beyond your comprehension —- fine with me.



    Unfortunately you haven’t taken my free advice —- at some point I hope you will.



    This site is open to all including especially Celtic fans. I am privileged to be one without fear or favour and beholden to no one. If I have a different viewpoint , especially from our gracious host whose words carry weight as they are aligned with CEO, then I will call it out. That is the socialism without the politics that Shankly spoke about when he was referring to Celtic.



    I know these words will not land with you PB —— but chill.



    We are nearing a conclusion in Moscow and I need to concentrate—- last sips of red. All good.




  11. Sid sorry, but so many variables, scouts make recommendations all the time. Not invented anything in my head, simply asked that is this your big scoop? A CEO didn’t listen to a scout?

  12. glendalystonsils on

    Re players giving (or not giving) 100%



    I don’t go along with the ‘downed tools’ theory. It would be easy enough for a player to fake injury or claim his head was not in the right place , or even have a deliberate bust up with the manager to avoid playing .



    It has a lot to do with players playing with a fear . The magical , mystical ,historical 10 has been hyped to such an extent that the players are playing without a sense of freedom or composure . All of which leads competent players to give away rash penalties , misplace passes and make wrong decisions .



    In a unique situation like the one we are in , you need a manager who can keep the psychology and focus of the players where it should be . Confident , relaxed determination . NL isn’t doing it because he can’t and perhaps because the demands of securing 10 are a step too far for him too.

  13. Greenpinata. 7.56.


    This is the mildest, by far, Celtic Blog, out there, that I read.


    F.F etc, wouldn’t need to come anywhere near here, there are many that are much worse.

  14. Martim 1980



    My initial point was to another poster who thought PL wasn’t responsible for bringing in players. The way the club is run is he is responsible for every transfer in and out you seem happy he has that skillset to make football decisions and judgements on players I don’t, I think that’s where we disagree.



    Remember our board have made the decision to keep the status quo in the last six weeks when other’s myself included wanted change, because the signs were there the players chucked it. In that time we have dropped 7 league points and exited 2 competitions.



    Or is it that another thing in your mind their not responsible for?

  15. I’ve just listed below what I think seem to be the most significant parts of Paul’s leader today.


    Maybe we attach too much relevance to Paul’s views in his leaders, but for today at least I’m going to assume that he speaks from an informed position, even if his words have to be diluted to afford some deniability.



    “but the implicit backing was there for “Neil, the players and the backroom staff”.


    “but there are doubtlessly other things going on that few of us are aware of.”


    “There is bigger question: Is the problem actually the manager?”


    “Neil carries the can, but he would be gone if the board thought that was all there is to the story.”


    ” Having been denied the opportunity to scout players during the spring and summer, a great deal of work has gone into preparing for January.”


    “Would another manager ‘put his name’ to those targets blind?”


    “Your recruitment strategy goes out the door with the manager.”



    It’s very clear that the board & our CEO have chosen to back Neil Lennon. Interviews, statements & today’s leader have left us in no doubt that the manager has the backing of the board.


    I think we’d also all agree with Paul that we don’t know all the facts behind the scenes that are impacting on this crisis. But he goes further than that & hints heavily that other factors are at least just as responsible for where we find ourselves. If we assume that a reluctance to pay up Neil’s contract is not one of those factors, we are left as usual to speculate/guess.



    In part two, Paul deals with the challenges for the club if they’re to remain in the title hunt. There’s a real temptation to directly connect his first thesis with with his second but, we know from the past that Paul will often address different & unconnected issues in the same leader. Despite being a little conflicted on this, I think that today both are connected.



    At the time, I thought we’d had a decent summer transfer window, but when Paul states as fact that “a great deal of work has gone into preparing for January” I think we need to pay attention. Either we didn’t have the successful window most of us thought we had at the time, or something has changed since that window closed. Yes, we’ve had discipline issues, Covid withdrawals, more than our share of injuries & losses of form – but is all that enough to generate that statement from Paul?



    The preparation work done for January obviously involves new players as Paul references “those targets” & he also makes it very clear that the board are committed to signing those same targets because “your recruitment strategy goes out the door with the manager”.



    I assume from all of this one of two things: either Celtic are already contracted to buy some players identified by Neil Lennon as being necessary for him to turn things round: if they were just names on a “possibles” list then any new manager would not have to work with someone else’s targets. Or alternatively, we are not contractually committed to any target, but the board think that it’s too late now for any incoming manager to draw up his own list of targets in time to make a difference this season. Why else ask if another manager would “put his name to those targets blind”?



    Regardless, we’re set to sign players in January & we’re sure to have Neil Lennon as manager well into 2021. This also means that nothing will change managerially regardless of the results in Milan, Lille or games against SPFL teams until after we return from our own wee winter break in mid January – and very likely not even then.



    Which brings us back to those mysterious other things of which you & I are unaware. We now know that at least one of those things is the strength/depth/quality of our playing staff. The board’s approval for signings in the January window means that they’ve accepted this as a valid explanation in part for why we are where we are today.



    It’s ironic on a day when once again we’re discussing the past players who were signed by Celtic without the manager’s consent of even knowledge, that a barely concealed justification for retaining Neil is that a new man wouldn’t work well with players he didn’t want or sign.



    Lastly, the statement that “your recruitment policy goes out the door with your manager” underlines for me precisely why Celtic are where we are. If you have an effective football vision & philosophy then you are not thrown into disarray at the prospect of changing coaches. Recruitment will always vary to a degree with a new coach, but successful club’s have a sustainable underlying football philosophy so that they do not have to replace a dozen players with every new coach. Thus, they avoid the vast expense & waste involved in trying to get existing players, bought for their skills & ability to play to one manager’s style, to fit into a new manager’s different style & philosophy that is beyond their skills or abilities.




  16. Sid he’s the money/contract man think we all know that- at his level he’s responsible for budgets. Background in accountancy.



    Are you reading my mind? Using Voodoo?



    Fully aware it’s not been good but I do think there have been unique circumstances and it’s not the time to change your CEO.

  17. Just saw Lucky Cody’s reference to the Queens Gambit.


    Excellent show & yes, some fine music too.



    Also on Netflix if you want to see where Kristoffer Ajer’s twin brother has ended up, watch Young Wallander.


    Man who plays the lead role looks & acts a bit like big Kris – and no he doesn’t kick a ball once.




  18. Paul 67.


    I can’t believe what I read in your blog today. That the manager is being kept as Manager and being given more money to invest in Players. You must be kidding.


    I’d like to tell you who the top ten shareholders are,and they must be the trouble that is happening to Celtic to vote for this news.




    1 Dermot Desmond 32.774.072. 34, 7.


    2 Lindsell Train Ltd. 17,557.438. 18.6.


    3. Christopher David Trainer Ltd. 9.796,784. 10 ,4.


    4 James Mark Keane. 5.909.847. 6,26..


    5 Thomas Eardley. 3.357,505. 3.56.


    6 Banque Lombard Odier. 1.105,936. 1.17.


    7 Peter Thomas Lawwell 356,000. 0.38.


    8. Landsdown Hardgeaves Shareholders Ltd. 154,016. 0.16.


    9 Wealth & Investment Ltd 8 118,000 013


    10 Jarvis Investment Management. 86.000 0.13.



    As you can see, The top two share holders Have the final say and if they want the Manager to Stay the rest of the shareholders have no say in anything.


    I have 1,306 shares so I better sell them, before they drop as low as when Kelly and white were running the Club.I think they went down to as 25pence.




    As you can see Peter Lawwell can’t sign players without having the backing off a few of the the other top shsreholders.

  19. glendalystonsils on




    Maybe speculative , but an excellent post and a pretty sound analysis of Paul’s leader .



    If your final paragraph means that we might be recruiting with a view to playing players in their proper /best positions (round pegs in round holes etc) ,that would be a huge improvement .



    Not convinced however , that January recruitment with the same manager will work . January recruitment tends to be as dreary as the January weather .

  20. Lubo we need you on

    It looks to me like NL is officially the man who broke the tinternet (and a football club ).



    This situation reminds me off lots of similar workplace encounters , past and present .



    The scenario is….whereby somebody that can talk the talk ….the boss thinks he is great because of this.. he sounds like he knows his shit , but in reality I (and lots of other know he’s actually really shit at his job.



    The boss cant see his limitation, because he is not at the actual coal face .



    Eventually said person gets found out .



    How can these muppets not see , that this man is lying continually ?

  21. Sid,



    “Remember our board have made the decision to keep the status quo in the last six weeks when other’s myself included wanted change, because the signs were there the players chucked it. ”





    Apologies for only pasting a paragraph from your post, but it is a defining one.



    We can make all sorts of explanations for players chucking it , but ultimately it all boils down to the players own pride, desire and honesty.



    The other day we discussed individual responsibility on here. A perfect anology.




  22. Lenny thinks it can turn like a flick of a switch – I believed that in August…



    We’re in a lot of trouble here…



    Neil, it won’t change like the flick of a switch – months of atrocious football demonstrates that – it’s your job to get these players onto the training pitch and address our problems.

  23. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Club PR line not so subtly shifting to focusing attention on having won the 9. Broony, Jullien, Lenny, even Darren O’Dea now.



    Battening down the hatches for blowing the 10.

  24. What to say? Neil is staying. The die is cast it seems.



    I don’t buy the logic Paul67- I really don’t.



    I’d settle for a manager or coach who could organise the existing team into a workable shape that makes the most of their talents.



    I’d settle for a manager or coach who has the faith of the players.



    It is odd that few if any supporters have been clamouring for new recruits in January. Throwing more money at it is very unlike PL or indeed Paul67



    I’m resigned to it. I’ll live in hope more than expectation and hope I am proved wrong in the long term.



    Come the winter trip to Dubai (really? This year?) We will know whether this roll of the dice has worked out.



    Strap yourselves in folks. It could get bumpy.

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