Lennon, Duffy and illusive perspective on last season


Last week, Neil Lennon wired into the debate on what went wrong at Celtic last season.  Neil is as much a Celtic man as you or I, so I suspect he’s still as raw as the rest of us on this topic, I’ll therefore cut him some slack.  For me, it is too soon for sound perspective, we need to let it settle for a while before insight kicks in.

To help gain some of this commodity for myself, I switched between the Scotland and Ireland games on Saturday.  Reports of how well Shane Duffy was performing in the English Premier League this season sounded remarkable and I wanted to see with my eyes what my ears did not believe.  All I know for sure on last season is that the Shane Duffy I watched for Ireland is not the same person we had at Celtic.  No DNA test could convince me otherwise.

Ireland’s Duffy did nothing spectacular, but he was where he should be throughout the game, no wandering off, no concentration lapses.  There will be books written on what went wrong last season, I doubt any of them will explain the performance of the player we loaned from Brighton.  That Ireland defender is solid, though, if only we signed him instead.

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  1. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Last season is gone. Time to move on and focus on this one. We’ll read the inside accidents when they’re written.



    We should have moved players on who wanted to leave. There were good reasons not to – not least the fans – including me – would’ve gone to to. Lessons learned for all concerned.



    Lenny should’ve gone in the autumn when it was clear he had lost any ability to turn it around. The inertia of Desmond and Lawwell suggested a combination of inertia and spite.



    Ah well, let’s get behind Ange and hope Desmond sells up soon. And not to the Saudis.

  2. I’m not sure if this applies to Celts in Scotland but beware of fake texts sending you to a website to pay for your NHS Covid pass.




    I don’t blame him for thinking he could turn it around



    He was right to think the way he did, he was given the job, would anybody on here chuck it for John Kennedy or Gavin Strachan – how did they get on?



    When they did decide to change ( too late ) they made an a@se of that as well, and took an entire summer to refill a position some Celtic supporters thought would be done ten minutes after Ferencvaros.



    The time the required rebuild clearly will take, is a pointer to why the board couldn’t / didn’t attempt it earlier when NL’s reign was failing.



    NL knows better than anyone why it went pear shaped, but you won’t hear where the bodies are buried on


    BT Sport.

  4. If I was a thugs and thieves headline writer …I would be asking Lennon every other week …what happened last season……..because the reaction to his reply is EXACTLY what they want !!!…they hated this uppity fenian ….and how they love his own turning on him ….it must be icing on the cake for them !!!……Eddie was obviously one player who took the hump …..Griffiths was a shocker …julienne got a mystery back pain after getting dropped for st mirror away after a 5 0 victory ar Ross County………….Barkas and Ajeti ….Lennon wanted ..Hart and Toney…..how different would that season have been?!!!……. .there is not one factor…..there are loads ………lennon at fault ? Sure ..partly…..

  5. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    CELTIC40ME !



    Your moniker always sticks with me since we last exchanged last December. Back then, you were defending NL’s performance, citing his 17 game winning run in 2011/12 as evidence why he could do it again!



    I know you are loyal to the board and NL. Your agenda raises my suspicion though that you aren’t just a general fan.



    However I think you are pishing against the wind if you are seeking to influence the blog. Most posters now realise the incompetences of this board and NL manager mark 2 is now a visual representation of that.



    I won’t get into a discussion with you, pretty futile. But some other posters will bite at your bait so good luck with that :-0

  6. The turnaround in the form of Shane Duffy since his nightmare in Paradise and his return to his familiar stomping ground at Brighton is truly remarkable. Brighton have played nine games in all competitions losing only once with a very credible five clean sheets. Duffy had a terrific game for ROI on Saturday on the continent and would have been on the scoresheet forcing a couple of top saves from the opposing ‘keeper.



    Neil Lennon did right in enticing Shane to join Celtic, it was a major achievement and nobody could have forseen the chaotic period that was to totally envelope the club.



    Great to see Shane and Brighton doing so well in the EPL and in the upper reaches of the table. Duffy is hugely popular at the seasiders. Of course we all know That Brighton unlike Celtic are not expected to win every time they play when dropped points are not considered total a disaster.

  7. Edouard told Lennon 2 hours before the Ferencvaros game last year he wasn’t playing.


    Lawwell and Lennon had 5 weeks after that to sell him/let him go.


    They both failed to manage the situation thinking it would get better… It never, it got worse.


    All about opinions but for me, that was when I knew we were going to struggle to win the league.

  8. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    Three of the most prominent Celtic fan run analytical sites all highlighted red flags when Shane Duffy was linked to Celtic last summer.



    Surely, he couldn’t have been recommended by the Celtic analytics/scouting team. More likely, he was identified by the manager or offered up to interfering shareholders who like to play football manager by Duffy’s agents.



    Anyhow we move on to this season…..Wait, what? McCarthy you say? Surely it couldn’t have happened again!

  9. BSR



    We won 8 out of our first 9 in the league last season until we met them, I think we were all keeping our fingers crossed that we’d see a repeat of the previous season, abject surrender in the CL qualifying, but a successful league campaign. Added to the results at the end of the previous season our league form certainly suggested it was likely. We’d kept hold of the wantaways and it looked like we’d strengthened or could still strengthen the first team.



    Even going into the New Year game we were still in touch, a victory (yes, I know) would have had us 4 points behind, a draw 7. We were probably both on here back in April 2008 when the world seemed to be calling for WGS to be sacked, when we lost to Motherwell and the league was gone, but turnarounds do happen. I didn’t see it happening this time either but I couldn’t see who would we’d be able to get in then to do a better job with that group of players.



    I don’t know what happened with recruiting the next manager. I don’t know who was available, what assurances EH had made, who else we could have got in quicker. I thought EH would have been better then we could have expected, I don’t know if the quality of other possibles made the gamble worth taking.



    Probably a one-eyed take on it, but there you go.



    A far wiser man than me once told me “if you don’t know then don’t pass comment.” I’ll conveniently hide behind that this time round :)

  10. From time to time I get – unsolicited – a Sky package they describe as SPFL Greats. The most recent tapes cover carefully selected games from the 1990s to 2017. There are multiple taped encounters and Celtic win only one.


    Atrocious refereeing was the one dominant feature of these games. The usual suspects – Collum, Madden, Dougie-Dougie and Thompson – all stuck to their scripts to ensure that injustice was done. What the foe malign got away with was appalling. You think you’re seeing bias in real time. Recordings just confirm and underline it.

  11. The minute Lennon came on the Telly and blamed everybody and anyone ,The Ten in a row with some players was the way to get back at him ,absolute disaster of a coach along with Kennedy,I’ll cut Strachan and Mc Manus some slack,he Lennon has gone and Kennedy for the life of me is still there .

  12. Neil Lennon has never said:-



    “None of it was my fault”



    or “Don’t blame me”



    or “Ange is no better than me”



    These are all attributions, projections and distortions made by Celtic fans still hurting from the loss of a very achievable Ten and needing someone to blame.



    Whichever way you cut it, even if you feel the board invested a lot in bringingEPL and International players to Celtic and retaining sought after talent like Edouard, we failed and failed badly last season.



    Despite having a seasoned manager who knew how to win the SPFL , we lost it.



    Despite retaining Ajer and Edouard, we lost it.



    Despite bringing a renowned header of the ball (Duffy) and a tenacious tackler (Laxalt) to strengthen a worrying defence, we lost it.



    We lost it by 25 points and were even more pish in Europe than we were domestically.



    All Neil Lennon has said, in seeking to restore his rep with future emploers is:-



    “It wasn’t all my fault” (he seems to be hinting at players rather than Board)



    “Circumstances were unusual” (Covid and the Pressure of Ten)



    “Some players did not give me their whole effort” ( He does not and will not name them but I am guessing I won’t be far out in suspecting 3 French Guys and Griff).



    & also ” Some players did not refuse to play for me (as it was suggested that they were now doing so for Ange)” (Anyone watching last year would credit Ajer, Taylor, McGregor, Turnbull and Christie, at least, as giving full effort)



    These statements seem to be truisms to me but they neither provide insight (since he won’t name the players he is hinting at) nor do they explain what he did wrong to create or sustain this situation (and the Celtic fans have a right to demand some self-introspection from Neil).



    The best way I can work it out is that the Board insisted, in their efforts to back Lenn, that Edouard and Ajer and perhaps Ntcham & Jullien, could not go this year though they wanted to and had options. Despite agreeing to stay, with various degrees of acceptance, only Ajer turned in the performances he was capable of. None of the rest proved able to give the performances we had grown to expect from them. On top of that, some post-Covid fatigue seemed to hang over Turnbull, Edouard and Rogic, and possibly set back Jullien too alongside his knee injury. With a further season long injury to James Forrest, we were reduced to 2 or 3 guys trying to carry a team (Ajer and Calmac primarily with an occasional input from Christie, Turnbull or Rogic who could not sustain form over a whole season).



    To complete this perfect storm, one of our leagur rials, playing out of Ibrox, had a fairly settled squad with few injuries, suspensions or Covid issues to address. Not to damn them with faint praise via mealy mouthed excuses, they must also be credited with a recognisable robust and direct playing style, shaped by Michael Beale, that gave them a memorable season without a loss in any league fixture. Even if we had been better with more players on form than we had, we have to finally recognise that Sevco beat us and beat us easily, winning the league by 25 points eventually. It is neither simplistic nor lacking in self-criticism to say we were nowhere near as good as we could have been (and manager and players must be blamed for this) but that they were far better than we thought they were going to be, even those of us who recognised them as being stronger than they had been.



    So, I cannot get too mad at Neil Lennon trying to land a job again for his family and himself. He is no longer Celtic’s manager and, while he will always be a Celtic fan, he owes us nothing more now that we have let go of his services.



    In years to come, apart from a few thrawn ones who like to nurture their wrath, we will have forgotten this disaster of a season and instead recall the NFL who was a great servant as a player and who suffered the vitriol of the backwater element in Scotland who detest an uppity Fenian. You don’t have to regard him as a top rank manager but you do have to evaluate him in the round. He had achievements with us that we will cherish and they all outweigh the total disaster that was season 2020/21.

  13. Bhoy From The Boyne…………Brendan Rodgers originally try to sign Shane Duffy and most of us thought he would be the perfect foil for the Frenchman in central defence. We could also say Duffy was thrown in at the deep end surrounded untried youths as his co defenders.

  14. BHOY FROM THE BOYNE on 11TH OCTOBER 2021 5:15 PM


    Three of the most prominent Celtic fan run analytical sites all highlighted red flags when Shane Duffy was linked to Celtic last summer.



    Are they the “normal” Celtic fans you talk about?



    I remember everyone thinking he’d do a great job for us

  15. Park the Bus @ 3:51.



    Do you intend to insult or is that just a happy accident?



    Either way, job done. 😉

  16. Have the board-haters accepted that prior to the start of last season, the hierarchy had got it right with spending money and keeping the squad intact in order to clinch 10iar?



    It appears now the ‘sting’ has changed to the timing of NL’s departure, and should he have been sacked sooner.



    He was a winner and therefore had to start the season – all must agree with that surely. We had a crazy Covid start but that was out of his control. Europe did not go well, but then these days it never does and Ross County dump us from LC….sacking time??????



    We had a Cup Final for the Quad Treb in December, so understandable he is still in place, given the fact that he had won every domestic trophy, bar the current LC, available to him up to that point.



    January comes along, we are still in the title race, then there’s Dubai, a reserve team playing in games, and by the end of January the title is lost.



    He finally goes in February. So he may in the eyes of some overstayed his welcome by two months, if sacked after Ross, or, one month, if sacked after Dubia…..what real difference would it have made?



    The players, especially the bent ones, threw away everything on the park. Good players and a successful team became bad players and an unsuccessful team almost overnight.



    Did they do it to spite the club? – did they do it to spite the manager & coaches? – did they do it to spite the fans?



    We’ll never know – all we do know is they done it…..spectacularly!!!!



    The board, like all within the Celtic family can vote for any party they choose to in any election – that is what “a club open to all” means.


    Are some on here actually saying that if a board member, or, any other member of the Celtic family does not support the SNPcult, that they are, by definition,Tories…..absurd!!!



    Talk about “knowing your history” – seems to me that those among us that would support the SNPcult, knowing that organisation’s history and hatred of our anticedants, and the Scottish National Team, given its history of snubs, bias and derision towards Celtic players for many years, are ‘turncoats’……and any thinking person knows the spurious reason why.

  17. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    I read an English article a couple of weeks ago that suggested Duffy returned to Brighton a better player with the ball at his feet given his experience playing at Celtic – and that Potter at Brighton now trusts him to play the ball out from the back.



    Seems almost incomprehensible given what we watched last season – but perhaps the answer lies in Brighton’s 3 at the back providing a balance and secure platform that just didn’t exist at Celtic last season.

  18. SFTB,



    that was a very good read, fair and accurate assessment with only a couple of circumstances to add,



    the goalkeeper fiasco, when we couldnt get forster why let craig leave early ? just baffled me.



    and broonies efforts over the season, he tried as hard as anyone,

  19. Duffy himself has said the whole experience overwhelmed him, and that losing his dad had a real hard impact on him.



    I too have watched him for club and country and je really does look a different player.

  20. NFL who was a great servant as a player and who suffered the vitriol of the backwater element in Scotland who detest an uppity Fenian






    Neil Lennon certainly is no fenian given my understanding of the term.

  21. i dare say that desciption would be the answer from any hun as to ……………



    describe neil lennon in two words.



    is what they think of him, maybe not how he thinks of himself.



    then again , he is from Lurgan with Port Glasgow heritage, so maybe the badge fits.



    for sure who he is, where he comes from, and the religion he has painted a huge big “uppity fenian” target pn his back.

  22. onenightinlisbon on

    Neil is as much a Celtic man as you or I,



    LOL. takes no responsibility for the car crash of least season and is a huge fan of Israel….aye right..

  23. I’m insulted.



    I’m a plastic paddy by that definition. Parents family from Donegal and Kildare. Grandfather’s elder brother (Donegal) fought in War of Independence and Civil War. Grandfather led strikes in Steel Works in Scotland.



    Season ticket held by other Grandfather (Kildare) post war. Passed to my father on his death in early 60s, then on to me on his death in 1990. Now have two season tickets in family for me and my son in old stand.



    I’m a plastic paddy? I refute that. Giving up my seasie for no one, Team first, all else poor second.



    No more from me.

  24. St. Stiv’s



    Happy to accept the additional comments- Funny how I had ruled Scott Brown out of my analysis since he is no longer with us. Broony never gave less than his best but it just happend that his best was waning with every passing season.




    AN Dun- I daresya there are strict definitions within which Neil might be uncomfortable with the label but I think evry Hun in Scotland readily applied the adjective unrepentant and the noun fenian to him. They might also have used the adjective ginger and the noun B***ard

  25. Lennon is and remains a cash man. That’s why he represented the north when the RUC was still doing their thing.



    That’s why he’s happy to work in Israel. The man will take money out of any outstretched hand.



    His future employment prospects rely entirely on a board as incompetent as our own that would employ him. I don’t fancy his chances.

  26. Tim Malone………..At Celtic Duffy was expected to nursemind untried, inexperienced youngsters like young Walsh and Ralston, not ideal. Although both lads will progress at the club.

  27. Lenny is a Celtic Legend.



    Now it is Ange Time.



    Europe isnae realistic this Season, it will be next Season, IMO.



    The closed shop CL wullnae be realistic but I reckon we could get to the very latter stages if we recruit well in the next 2 windows.

  28. onenightinlisbon on

    So called “Celtic Legend” undermining the new manager….aye that’s what legends do….




    So-called “Celtic Legend” undermining the new manager….aye that’s what legends do….




    That’s what a lot of them seem to do, unfortunately. That’s why I always have admiration for people like WGS. Wasn’t seen as “one of us” but really took our club to his heart. Doesn’t mean I want his entire family shoe-horned into roles here but you get my point.

  30. onenightinlisbon on

    GEEBEE1978 on 11TH OCTOBER 2021 6:59 PM



    Totally agree. Ex huns players are totally different, ours, for the most part do all they can to put the boot in to us.

  31. AN DÚN on 11TH OCTOBER 2021 6:43 PM


    Lennon is and remains a cash man. That’s why he represented the north when the RUC was still doing their thing.






    are you saying he represented the north because it paid more ?



    is that the same for all the nationalists who played for them ?



    was neil ever asked to play for the repiblic ? do you know ?

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