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……

Celtic: Fifty Flags Plus One, an anthology of how Celtic won each of their league titles, is available now.  Starting with our first title in 1893, it details how Willie Maley brought consistent glory, then the sparse successes over four decades before Jock Stein arrived in 1965 and the more contemporary wins since.

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

SPECIAL OFFER, free copy of Seville, The Celtic Movement, while stocks last!

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  1. JAMES FORREST on 3RD DECEMBER 2020 11:11 AM



    If it doesn’t matter then there’s no need for him to play the want-aways; no need to squeeze another 90 minutes out of the ageing Brown and the burnt-out McGregor; no need to play those he described as “lazy” or not taking on instructions.



    It was said pre-season that we have the best squad and that it would be the squad that made the difference so why not give vital minutes to the likes of Turnbull, Klimala, Soro, Walsh….



    Slippy is using his squad well and they’re proving that extra effort, a will to win and fight for the jersey can make up for a perceived lack of talent.

  2. James,



    “The manager has been given a free pass for the night, so why should anyone else bother?”



    Spot on. Sadly.




  3. I hope (obviously) that we get a victory tonight but Sunday is a must .



    So Come On You Bhoys In Green









    D :)

  4. JAMES FORREST on 3RD DECEMBER 2020 11:11 AM



    Milan v Celtic and our players need an incentive ? Is this what it has come to ?



    Imo, There is huge incentive and privilege playing for Celtic at the San Siro.


    However that is precisely why I would play players that would be incentivised and subsequently give 100%.



    HH to you.

  5. Greenpinata,



    They aren’t machines. They are playing a dead rubber in a tournament that they can’t progress in, in a system they don’t believe in or shine in and under a manager who can’t inspire them anymore.



    I expect effort but how many times does someone go to the well as an exposed Gk or CH, or a headless chicken midfield that you must cover for, or a forward line without support or creativity behind them. Or a sub who gets that hail mary call with 5 minutes left?



    How many more players need to be thrown in to see it ain;t working?




  6. prestonpans bhoys on

    BIG WAVY on 3RD DECEMBER 2020 11:07



    My expectations of tonight is a good hammering. As you indicated no matter what ‘tactics’ are deployed by the coach team, the players will ignore.



    We have all worked with bosses we have no time for, end product is always the same, you don’t do an extra yard for them neither mind a mile😱

  7. BIG WAVY on 3RD DECEMBER 2020 11:36 AM



    Agree. If the “incentive” wasn’t there when we had a chance of progress or against our biggest rivals or in a one-off CL qualifier, little chance now.

  8. BIG WAVY on 3RD DECEMBER 2020 11:36 AM



    And no fans being present makes it even more of a non event.

  9. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    GEEBEE1978 @ 11:17am



    On the Sevco squad, I think the other factor that gets overlooked is they have a settled squad & own their players. Have they any loan players? Surely this must contribute to harmony and belief in their performances.



    Contrast to us, we have been stockpiling loanees last few seasons. On some level, contracted players must be more settled than a loanee here for 9 months. Added to that, we have 4-5 contracted players touting for a move elsewhere. These circumstances together with the lack of tactical nous from management team and strategic planning from the board…….



    Re: Moravcik for DOF. I would like Celtic to break traditional reliance on past players/managers and simply go out and get the best person available for football operation roles, regardless of allegiance.



    Anyone think both Stephen McManus & Darren O’Dea were simply the best candidates for their under-age roles and weren’t simply recruited on back of their playing past?

  10. big wavy on 3rd December 2020 11:07 am



    Absolutely spot on I made a similar point the other day. I don’t want Neil’s relationship with the fans to deteriorate to the levels that it did with Tony Mowbray, he should be remembered for all the great things he delivered as a player and manager.



    Sadly with the way the board is going about this its only heading in one direction. Never in my time as a Celtic supporter have I ever seen the board behave in a proactive manner, no strategy or long term plan. Its all about short term balancing the books.

  11. I would like to see someone like Ramon Vega as DOF. Football connections/knowledge and business acumen. Probably wouldn’t be interested, making too much money outside of football. Possibly could handle CEO role also.

  12. Big Wavy,



    Even if some of our established players are so comfortable that they don’t need a win bonus, many of our fringe players would give their eye teeth to play in a legendary stadium against one of the most renowned teams in world football.



    Scott Brown has publicly stated there is more to give. That is why he would start in my team tonight. I would normally not advocate playing Scott, but it seems some players need motivation and he is still the best we have to provide same.



    Ultimately we all desire the best for our team, as the majority of supporters have witnessed the barron years as well as the history making ones.


    It’s how we arrive there that we differ on.



    HH to you.

  13. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    Darren O’Dea was rolled out to the media the other night to defend NL.



    He started arguing on stats to defend NL. I thought this could be interesting – will he mention our recent cliff fall on xG or why we have poor defensive dual stats or high percentage of non penetrating side way passes?



    Nope! This is what he said.



    “You talk about statistics, they’ve won two in 10 which is by Celtic’s standards is unacceptable, Neil Lennon’s not trying to defend that either, he’s not saying they are in good form.



    “If you want to throw statistics out, they’re potentially about to complete a quadruple Treble, they’ve lost their first domestic cup game in 35, they’ve won nine titles in a row.



    “Neil Lennon has been a massive part of all of that. If you want to talk about two wins in 10, how about you talk about the nine years previous to that?

  14. Freshening things up a bit:










  15. james forrest



    grab a chib and get intae self harming



    sometimes James holding your council is best


    pishin your pants every two mins as clickbait


    does not make you correct.



    ‘any manager would be a step up’


    jack ross blah blah


    Who are you in Celtic terms James? –



    yeh thats got it in one.



    always viewing the stage but never on it.




  16. Interesting chat with an “ITK” connections, so probably a load of pish



    However the chat is Barkas HATES life in Scotland , totally regrets the move and will do anything to get out .



    Interesting Jan development if he is offloaded.

  17. Speaking of the transfer window..if as some suggest Lawwell has a very big say in the comings and goings..he must be very persuasive when selling his ideas to DD..if it is the case does DD know its Lawwell suggestion or does is Lawwell telling him its a Lennon request..does this also apply when the backroom team is put together..does DD really think its who Lennon actually wants or is Lawwell telling him it is and pulling the wool DDs eyes as well…either that or DD involved in selections too.


    Hope ye get were im coming from.🙂

  18. Reading that Matt and Gene have pending colonoscopies. Reminded me of the story of the Scots lad prepped and reposing on the gurney waiting for the doctor to arrive.


    “Good morning, Matt, I’m Doctor Iniquitous, I’ll be doing your colonoscopy this morning.”


    “Morning Doctor, could you write a short note for my wife?”


    “A note to your wife? Matt, this is not a major operation. It is a minor procedure I do several times every day.”


    “But could you still do it, Doc? It’s important to me.”


    “O.K. Then, what do you want me to write?”


    “Just confirm that my head is not in fact up there.”

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