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.

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  1. Paul



    Very interesting article. The doubts regarding Neil Lennon as manager, however, were there at the time of appointment and grew wings during the course of last season with performances against Cluj and Copenhagen and against Sevco. This season’s performances have only served to confirm that Neil is not the man to manage Celtic, at this time, under any circumstances. His time has come and gone.



    I am very heartened that you feel that the Board consider recruitment to be an important priority in January. Let’s hope any defenders will not have been converted midfielders who someone at Celtic thinks can do a job at centre back.




    Every family has members it wishes would just hurry up and get to the sentencing part and start their 3-5.



    I place you in that category wee guy.



    Don’t worry, I’ll still send you letters inside.

  3. James Forrest,


    i ask as on monday you stated on the site/blog/facebook page ,canny remember what one,


    that you would no longer allow content from CQN

  4. I wouldnt give NL another penny, he should coach the players he has, if any money is spent it will come from the sale of our better but off form pissed off looking for pastures new players .So there are plenty average players out there with agents ready to do the deal, but they will not improve the Celtic first team or squad.


    When we sell our best ,we replace with worse it is a fact, and how many are off because our standards have dropped and the coaching is poor. We keep NL we lose the league, it is only a matter on when.

  5. I can see it now, we spend millions on a young defensive midfielder in January only for Neil to play Broonie every week.



    We’ve bought the best young midfielder in Scotland and left him on his backside for 5 months.



    Pointing to the January transfer window with Lennon in charge has left me shaking my head.



    Sack Lennon or watch the season go up in flames in the weeks if not days ahead.



    We’ve lobbied for months to get Celtic Park open again, when it does come that time next year, we’ll not be able to fill the stands if the current course remains unchanged.



    Peter Lawwell do your job and remove Neil Lennon.




    Yep and then I withdrew it, didn’t i?



    Because as I said, Paul and I know each other from waaaaaaaaay back. Don’t forget, if you’ve been here long enough you’ll know that we worked on a very big project for this site, as a team. Like I said, complicated history and more than a few twists and turns along the way.

  7. squire danaher on

    Timmy 7_noted



    So the “strategy” is to have a great January window in the middle of a pandemic whilst continuing to pay the wages of a squad full of uncommitted wasters? Really that’s it? Because our recent scouting has been so successful?



    Yes, because PL has decided who we’re buying after watching them on telly after initial lockdown. We can’t have a new manager coming in now because he might not agree with the unpolished diamonds discovered by our defacto Director of Football



    A bit like all the other benchwarming dross bought over recent years.




    Correct. Deeply worrying to think we might throw more good money after bad.



    AN DÚN:



    You’ve hit the nail squarely on the nut. All this presumes we’ll even be in a title race by the time the window opens, a presumption that is quite ridiculous based on what we watch every week.




    Well this is the level YOU want it at, and as long as you keep it up I’ll not stop.



    You start trying to have a REASONABLE conversation with ACTUAL POINTS to it and I’ll do the same.



    People here will be happy about that.

  10. Klopp and Pep, two managers who hadn’t won a senior trophy between them prior to Dortmund and Barca respectively.




  11. P67 — not a very inspiring article.


    Board friendly waffle to try and kick the can down the road.



    In the real world we have lame duck manager dealing with a sqaud in open revolt with a coaching staff that would be a bit thin for teams in the Scottish Championship.



    Overseen by an “owner” who is only interested in the EPL big picture.


    And a CEO who brought this shambles on us and who has no idea how to move things forward.



    The big issue is that the squad have all but given up.


    They have big issues with the coaching staff and the coaching — or lack of it.


    They have a big issue with the CEO who stopped a number of moves from going through in the mistaken belief that continuity alone would win the league for us this season.



    Look out tomorrow for the person who will give away a penalty — some serious kitty money at stake.



    I fear we have a Mexican stand off where those in suits and hoodies are trying to shame the team back to work — infortunately they think they have a future ahead of them at an individual level and winning the league is not going to make them any richer.



    Some scuttlebut have the main driver as the lack of coaching / friction with the staff.


    Other scuttlebut has the lack of a move as the main issue.



    Scotland squad vs french contingent — Discuss.


    No matter doing nothing is not an option.


    And yet again PL is letting us down.


    He is useless and getting worse.

  12. Squire, I think you may have worked it out big fella.. :-)


    As usual the font of all Knowledge except beer.

  13. I’m not scared of a DEBATE. I’m not scared of an actual DISCUSSION.



    My positions are known. If you disagree with them, let’s have a chat about why.



    I don’t imagine we’ll change each others minds, although – without being insulting – I bet I’m far more amendible to that than you are.



    But it’s better than a pissing contest, right?



    Let’s find out.

  14. James Forrest,


    yeah you withdrew the article,


    wasnt sure if you withdrew the ban on content from this site,


    which was a cheek given that you promote your own site on here,


    dont know how long i have read this blog,i go back to Pablo and the friday night music nights


































  16. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on

    What team do we play tomorrow night?


    The want-away wasters who wouldn’t care if we win, lose or draw?



    The young lads who are desperate for game time but could suffer a heavy defeat which would destroy their confidence, especially in this fragile time?



    A mix of both and hope the exuberance of youth, love of the game and determination to show they are good enough kick starts some of our senior players and maybe the odd want-away to fall in love with the game again?


    I’ll be sitting in my armchair at kick off, still wanting to see the Glasgow Celtic put on a show and I hope the team is my 3rd point.

  17. TINYTIM on 2ND DECEMBER 2020 12:57 PM




    ‘The Hun BOD’s are risking their own money .





    They have more skin in the game.





    They want it more.’






    They are at imminent risk of losing their entire investment so they are understandably more motivated.



    But the risk that motivates them (ie impending financial collapse) could well be what has motivated the Celtic Board to take their foot off the gas.



    Being the only horse in a two horse race is a scenario best avoided.

  18. DBHOY ta.


    Interesting when it referenced The Numbers Game and golas hinging on a ‘moment of fortune’ like deflections, lucky bounces and, of course, bad referee decisions…


    Pitchfork demanding a solution is one way to go but I’m trying to keep an open mind atm cos the same players were awesome last year and opinions are like…well, there’s a saying fur that.



  19. BTW, I’m happy to stick with Lenny. He knows the course and has gone the distance numerous times for our club both as a player and as a manager.







    You’ve stumbled onto an interesting question and one few people are asking.



    If so many players want to leave at one time, is there an underyling reason?



    I know that Rogic, Forrest and a handful of others were going before Rodgers came in; they’d made up their minds. His appointment convinced them that the club was going places and had serious intent. Who could honestly say that about Celtic right now?



    Players want to be tested, they want standards to meet … this is a team that’s won everything in sight these last few years, regressing in front of us. We can all see that the tactical shape and the formation and the system are all over the place … imagine going from Rodgers to the current regime?



    Is that part of the reason? Would a new manager completely turn this around?



    If Lennon stays in post all those guys WILL go … and what the Hell will we replace them with?

  21. Celtic Football Club








    NL: “Elyounoussi won’t travel. Duffy’s having his knee assessed, he picked up a knock today so we’ll see how he is. I’ll still put a strong team out and give some players some much needed game time as well.”

  22. GORDYBHOY64:



    Withdrew it completely.



    I remember the site back then. I miss what this site used to be. I spent a lot more time here than I do now.



    I’ll repeat again though; I do not NEED this site to “promote” the blog, that’s what I have Facebook and Twitter for. I come here for one reason only; this is STILL the most intelligent Celtic forum there is. Wth a few notable exceptions and halfwits.

  23. CJ: “The dressing room is unified like never before. We are strong together and the players are behind the staff, and the staff are behind us. We are going to do everything to fix the results.”






    All statements this week have been sponsored by the word ‘Unified’ ….and ‘together’….



    PR BS….

  24. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    ‘Winning the league is going to take a huge effort this month and successful recruitment next months.



    I agree, but my first concern is that it could be all over by the time next month arrives.



    My second would be that I consider it unlikely reinforcements will be in place to walk in the door on January first.



    My third would be that ‘recruitment’ happens at all and that it is actually ‘successful’ if it does. Perhaps this time is different due the situation Celtic finds itself in, but I’ve had hopes dashed more often than not by these transfer windows.



    For sure, win against the diddy teams, win at Mordor, sign/loan 2/3/4(?) first team ready players on Jan 1 and it’s game on.



    The probability of all that? 40% tops.

  25. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on 2nd December 2020 1:37 pm



    I don’t think anyone could really guess at tomorrows team with any authority right now however if I was in charge I know a few who would be nowhere near the starting 11, in fact probably not in the squad. Duffy, Ntcham, Rogic and Griffiths, bunch of wage thieves, the others are already out on loan.



    Also on a totally separate note I don’t think I’ll even watch the game tomorrow, the thought of another 4 or 5 pasting is not to be enjoyed.

  26. CELTIC40ME


    Performances were shocking.


    Dundeeutd, Kilmarnock Ferencvaros, St Mirren, St Johnstone.


    Need I go on

  27. BIG WAVY:



    Yep. Unifed. United.



    And then at the weekend the players will turn in a performance as if they are complete strangers, and after it the manager will question their character and commitment to the media. And the board might blame the fans.



    Anyway, haven’t we been hearing this same drone for months now?



    Are we any closer to figuring this out?

  28. Is the problem Not the Manager and his coaches ?


    Why only identify Neil


    Who appointed and chose his coaches ?


    Raises another question


    Is the problem above the Managers level ???



    As for the article


    Who do we sell to fund any further bench warmers


    Odsonne, who is being accused of downing tools – do we have sufficient firepower to cover this ?


    Duffy allegedly returns to Brighton, and do well sell Kris Ajer ?? Another allegedly itching for a move ?


    So are we signing 2 new Centre Halfs ??


    How about Olivier Ntcham who has definitely given up


    Or Tom Rogic, who wanted away in the summer


    Are we signing 2 new midfielders straight into the team ???


    Oh I forgot about Ryan Christie


    So is it a 3rd midfielder ????


    Oops – Scott Brown replacement – 4 midfielders



    Then we have Laxalt and Elyanousi to replace – when do we do that



    I’ve still to look and see who is out of contract in the summer



    Huge amount of change needed



    Do we have the Coaching team ,and manager to turn this around ?????




  29. James Forrest,


    cheers for your reply,


    regarding the team,i cant understand why players that are itching for a move can turn in such sub standard performances,surely they have a better chance of moving on if they are part of a successful winning team,Ryan Christie is a prime example,wanting a new challenge,who in their right mind would buy him in the form he is displaying at present.

  30. Quad,


    Think I know that one..Opinions are like aerosols or somefink..:)



    My hope is Lenny identifies any player not ‘all in’ and keeps them out the team until they ‘adjust’ their attitude, I don’t care who they are. I personally only want to see guys in the team trying 100% every game. I can except defeat but it’s the lack of effort/application I’m struggling with this season.




  31. We cant seriously give this manager any more money to spend.


    There’s not enough room on the bench for any more projects

  32. GORDYBHOY64:



    Agreed. This is one of the reasons i readily dismiss the idea that our drop off in form is because players want away. Do they really expect to get the kind of offers they want playing like this?

  33. Maybe it is only BS if you want it to be BS. Because truthfully HTF do you know one way or the other.

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