Neil, Brendan and the risk-free dream appointment


I’m seeing a bit of “Neil Lennon cannot get the job now” comment after our capitulation at Ibrox this afternoon.  Brendan Rodgers got things equally wrong at Ibrox in December but no one was calling him the wrong man for the job.

If you think the primary issue Celtic have right now is tactical choice and team selection, you are overlooking what is staring you in the face.  Celtic are playing with a squad that has changed little since Ronny Deila days, despite the volume of new faces introduced to the club in the intervening period.  Seven of today’s starters and eight of last weeks’ were at the club under Ronny.

Ronny won two of our eight consecutive titles, but his final squad was in need of significant overhaul.  Three years on and Odsonne Edouard, Oliver Burke and Jonny Hayes are not going to significantly change things.

Neil could have played Scott Sinclair, but Scott has been dropped by both Neil and Brendan at various times over the last two seasons, there is no guarantee he would have made a difference today.  He could have risked Kieran Tierney, or perhaps James Forrest, but for a dead rubber when we have a treble treble to compete for?

Eye on the prize and the prize right now is the Scottish Cup.  And if you want a tip on who will be our next manager, it will be whoever we think will successfully improve the squad.  Whatever Neil’s chances are, I doubt they were influenced by today’s performance.  And if you believe any appointment is risk-free, dream on.

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  1. traditionalist88 on

    GREENPINATA on 13TH MAY 2019 9:43 AM


    Nobody thought that Celtic could attract such a high profile manager as Brendan Rodgers.





    But, just to illustrate that even being willing to pay x amount doesn’t always guarantee anything, the alternative when Rodgers took the job, and who was under serious consideration, was Davie Moyes.



    Its not like there was a list of A-grade coaches queing up to come to Scotland.




  2. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on 13th May 2019 9:35 am



    I want to know when you think Bain should have committed himself to dive.

  3. MADMITCH on 12TH MAY 2019 10:36 PM


    StSt @ 10.27



    DD’s current dream team is MO’N and RK — any thoughts?



    Is it? Or is that your shout? Basis?




  4. Greenpinata on 13th May 2019 9:43 am


    ‘Nobody thought that Celtic could attract such a high profile manager as Brendan Rodgers.’






    Rodgers was a bit washed up when he came to Celtic though. He have few options available to him in the mainstream football world (ie not China, Middle East etc)) that would allow him to go back to get back mid table mediocrity in England.



    The only currently available equivalent I can think of is Moyes.



    BIG JIMMY on 13TH MAY 2019 6:37 AM




    POG..No Probs mate, I took your original Post as a bit of banter, nothing more. it doesnt change my mind about Rodgers since December 2018.



    IF Scott Bain comes out this week and tells the Celtic Support that HE was indeed at Fault for the 1st goal yesterday, then I’ll happily accept any acceptance on Scotts part. He has been outstanding as we all know since he took over in Goal this Season ? IF He was at fault I for one would continue to support him, as every goalie is allowed an error now and then..surely ?


    I would have to see it again ( hopefully not though), but it appeared to me at the time that Taverniers free kick wasnt ALL that high…did one or two Celtic Players ” Duck Out of it”, for fear of an Own Goal ?


    Was/is Scott Bain entitled to think that a Celtic Head should have cleared it ?



    Should ref Clancy have awarded a “Direct” Free Kick in the first instance ?


    It looked to me to be completely accidental, with Mikey Johnson TRYING NOT to get his leg tangled with the Hun player, as the Hun player ran across young Mikeys path, and any contact was unavoidable…so maybe it should have only been an INDIRECT Free Kick ?


    If the ref believed it was a DELIBERATE Foul by Mikey, considering that the Hun was about to run into Celtics penalty area into a very dangerous position ( Possible Scoring Opportunity ?)…Why did Ref Clancy NOT Yellow card Mikey ?


    Dont get me started on Clancy and NO RED Card for Flanagan…”The Self Proclaimed Women Beater” !



  6. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ TRADITIONALIST88 on 13TH MAY 2019 9:14 AM



    I don’t think Neil consoling KA should be put forward as a basis for him taking on the full time role. He may know the club, but that is hardly a reason to take him on. Tony Mowbray was familiar with the club but was not a success. Brendan didn’t know the club (in the sense he never held a position at it previously and was a huge success). Also, let’s face it, Steve Clarke is a better (or certainly not worse) manager than Neil- it would be ridiculous to be in a situation where Kilmarnock have a better manager than us!



    Also, because fans on a blog cannot name an alternative manager to take over does not invalidate the view that Neil is not the man for the job.



    We are supposed to be an incredibly well run club, in that case we must have competent people scouring the market for candidates; we aren’t just relying upon an ex-player and manager, who left to unemployment at the end of his last stint and subsequently managed Bolton and Hibs, are we? What are we paying top executives for if that is the extent of our ambitions/search? If Neil was not at Celtic, what level of club would be interested in him?



    People seem to forget that we had a turnover of over £100m in the summer of last year. That puts us within the top 30-50 bracket of clubs in Europe; we would be an attractive prospect to many (although Benitez/Mourinho are not within that bracket).

  7. ERNIE LYNCH on 13TH MAY 2019 9:53 AM


    Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on 13th May 2019 9:35 am


    I want to know when you think Bain should have committed himself to dive.




    1minute 51.058439774 seconds


    I hope that keeps you happy.







    Theres a new generation of progressive European coaches that could surely be tempted.


    Guys who set up teams to play in the Salzburg style. And who use the latest fitness methods.


    And will also have a good knowledge of the foreign market.


    Celtic need to show ambition now .

  9. Final word on this.


    I think Scott Bain is an excellent keeper, maybe a tad better than Craig Gordon, another excellent keeper, but it is the keeper who sets up the wall for free kicks and should know where he could be possibly be beaten. If he thinks he needs a man on the post so be it.


    Despite what the ‘odd’ poster thinks I’m not trying to slaughter Scott but I personally think he could have done a bit better.


    I’ll wait for BT to come on and tell me otherwise ?

  10. traditionalist88 on



    @ TRADITIONALIST88 on 13TH MAY 2019 9:14 AM



    I don’t think Neil consoling KA should be put forward as a basis for him taking on the full time role.





    That was one example which was a very public display showing that his managerial style is what we’d probably want, in comparison to say, how a manager like Roy Keane may react to a mistake.



    You also ignored the fact that the last time we overachieved in Europe Neil Lennon was our manager.



    I know fans on a blog don’t have the same knowledge as maybe scouts within a club, for example, but if fans on a blog are so adamant that one man SHOULDN’t get the job, then it is quite a reasonable question to ask for some viable alternatives. Very few have been able to name one! Its not like asking to suggest players to sign. Each club only has one manager, who achievements are there for all to see at the click of a button.



    Steve Clarke has certainly overachieved at Kilmarnock, then so too did Mulumbu. And I think it was established that Clarke has no interest in the job and wasnt to return to England to his family when he leaves Killie?



    No point ignoring hard and fast evidence just to try and strengthen a case against Neil Lennon. You have already acknowledged that Benitez and Mourinho are non starters. So too has Roberto Martinez ruled himself out and Marco Rose taken another job.



    How do you know there hasn;t been an extensive search that concluded that the best candidate who wants the job is Neil Lennon?



    The alternative when Rodgers took the job was Moyes.



    There isn’t a list of unbelievable coaches out there willing to come to Scotland.



    I think some peoples expectations are totally unrealistic. Some are essentially saying ‘get us a top class manager’, seemingly oblivious or in denial about the difficulties of doing so or of who has already ruled themselves out the running!



    Big summer ahead, on and off the pitch. Lennon built a quality side last time out from the proceeds of the McGeady sale. I say give him another go.




  11. traditionalist88 on

    BAMBOO on 13TH MAY 2019 10:15 AM





    Theres a new generation of progressive European coaches that could surely be tempted.





    Names/achievements/experience to date?




  12. The Battered Bunnet on

    Traditionalist88: “How do you know there hasn;t been an extensive search that concluded that the best candidate who wants the job is Neil Lennon?”



    There has been. It has concluded thus.

  13. Good morning CQN



    A little perspective perhaps on what was a bad day for Celtic, Neil Lennon and the players.



    We were not at the races all day. We need to take our medicine and be ready for next season when we get to take a crack at being 9 in a row champions for the second time in our history. What an opportunity!



    Familiarity breeds contempt. We are used to winning the league and so is our board. Do they see it as business as usual or a chance to rejuvenate the squad with power, class and some strong characters it badly needs?



    My fear is the result is looked at as follows:


    No Tierney


    No Boyata


    No Forrest


    No Christie


    No Griffiths


    Unfit Rogic


    Ineffective Johnston



    Add them to yesterday’s team and do we get a result? It would be easy for the board to say yes, especially KT, JF and RC.



    Therefore, what do they view as acceptable (by the fans) investment?



    A left and right back. Petrov style midfielder and a penalty box striker.



    LB – Andrew Gutman, slot him in to the squad, no money required. KT covered.


    RB – Manny Perez slot him in to the squad, no money required. Lustig covered.


    MF – Christie back.


    CF – Griffiths back.



    When the board approaches candidates to become manager is this the playbook they will execute?



    Add in Benkovic for another season, Shved and Morgan providing rest for Forrest so we don’t go into another end of season game against NewCo and get turned over. It gives the hacks the opportunity to espouse rhetoric like



    ‘Brendan told me Celtic fear us’. Classic Level 5 placement.



    Squad management sorely lacking.



    All this before we look at departing players.



    Ntcham, McGregor, KT or JF. Will Rodgers come calling? Will anyone want to join him?



    How many times have we been in this position and the board have delivered?

  14. townheadbhoy on

    On Ernie’s post. Apart from the dive, Defoe manages to aim a kick at Ajer as he’s airborn. A yellow card for the dive. I recall Looven’s being sent off at Ibrox for kicking at someone whilst jumping.



    Generally, I’m not inclined to give him the benefit of any doubt as the whole cheating thing appears coached. There have been numerous examples of them initiating contact and falling down and feigning injury.



    Not surprised that Douglas Ross failed to spot this, the elbow on Brown or Defoe’s hands on Lustig’s neck at about 44mins to win a free kick and load the box.



    We can’t always play well and will lose matches to a better opponent on the day but this lack of fairness is something that Celtic should be more vocal on.



    Now Celtic, finish the job on 25th May

  15. Traditionalist88



    I have to laugh at those who are so aghast at the possibility of him getting the job but can’t for the life of them give a realistic and suitable alternative! The closest we got was last night when someone said they hoped we’d go for the Standard Liege manager!




    You’ve not been paying attention. Several posters have named Stevie Clarke as their preferred candidate.

  16. traditionalist88 on

    THE BATTERED BUNNET on 13TH MAY 2019 10:25 AM


    Traditionalist88: “How do you know there hasn;t been an extensive search that concluded that the best candidate who wants the job is Neil Lennon?”



    There has been. It has concluded thus.






    Certainly looks that way, and those in denial may need to cop on pretty quick.



    Not a big gambler but still available at 6/4 with PP btw!




  17. traditionalist88 on




    CQN isnt the Celtic support in its entirety. I am referring to fans across all platforms and, you know, at matches, in pubs etc.



    Lots very vocal against Lennon, maybe around 10% who have an alternative suggestion [which is often Steve Clarke, a guy who doesn’t even want the job…but this is what you’re up against. Folk in denial and wilful ignornace].




  18. Just what do they put in the water down Govan way?



    JD used to be such a mild mannered guy who offered pace and class to any team.


    Now he is a snarling cheap-shot merchant who dives and hurts at the same time.



    What is it the USAF uses to increase lethality — “Go Pills”?


    Is there a sporting equivalent?

  19. If now is not the time to ask / demand change then when is?



    We paid a huge price yesterday for last summer’s willy waving competition?


    Is PL still worth his £2.5mill long term bonus or should he hand it back?


    His long term planning — or lack of it — caused yesterday’s short term pain.



    How can you judge JS / KA as CB’s when they played with such limited support at RB and LB plus they had no MF at all in front of them?



    How can you offer an opinion on TR when CMcG disappeared and SB was 5 years off the pace?


    How can you offer an opinion on OB when he was thrown in cold in front of two limited FBs?



    Then we have the toys out of a pram moment regarding TW.



    Just what is happening regarding our youth set up when MJ is only half the player / adult / man compared to someone a lot younger?



    Two big games coming up.


    Bigger rebuild needed during the summer.



    We need to think and do — we are currently far too sloppy and wasteful.

  20. TOSB @ 10.35



    If NL is the best we can do then we are in for a long, hard year next season.


    He is nowhere close to the standard we need in our next coach / manager.


    Things have moved so far and so fast that BR is not good enough to be our next manager.



    Consequently splash the cash — £5mill budget for the salary and the supporting cast of coaches / analysts.

  21. Lenny will do well if they give him a few quid to spend.



    His signings last time were almost always successful,not that he ever had decent funds.



    What he did was build a cracking wee team with the Aiden McGeady money, then they sold all the best players for big profit.



    Regardless of who gets the manager’s job, it’s going to be difficult to work with the current board and their ridiculous policy of selling anything they can sell.



    We are going for 9 ffs, I wish they would ditch the moneyball nonsense for next season at least and buy seasoned professionals with no view to selling them on at the first opportunity.



    Spend money win 9 spend more money win 10.



    It’s as simple as that.



    HH. ?

  22. DB @ 10.52



    Sorry that is not enough — what he has turned into is not natural.


    He has needed coaching / teaching to turn into that level of cheap-shot merchant.



    Plus he would need the confidence that the MIB will give him a couple of free shots every game.


    They are working to a very well developed plan — we are rank amateurs in the face of this rampant manipulation of the laws of the game.

  23. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ TRADITIONALIST88 on 13TH MAY 2019 10:21 AM



    I don’t think Lennon is the best man manager- at least in the sphere of developing players. Also, this is a direct quote from the weekend from Neil:



    “We were looking for a reaction even at half-time and didn’t get one, so they’ve got to have a look at themselves”



    That’s a lot of blame to place on the players. Brendan (aside from on the odd occasion didn’t criticise the players (even when the deserved it)) and MON was loathed to do so- it was invariably always praise. Neil needs a bit of introspection as tactics and substitutions were poor at the weekend.



    Neil had a fantastic year in Europe when we beat Barca. However, in 10/11 we were knocked out by both Braga and Utrecht so no European football; in 11/12 we only got into the Europa League on account of Sion fielding an ineligible player- we finished third in the group (albeit a good one); in 12/13 we had the Barca year which was excellent; in 13/14 we finished bottom of the group.



    It would be fair to say that the highs with Neil were higher (than Brendan) but the lows were certainly lower; overall, Brendan’s team were more consistent and played to a higher level- we got the to the CL and European football 2/3 seasons.



    On Neil for manager. It is fine to hold the position that someone is unsuitable for the job without putting forward alternatives. Our CEO is paid £2.5m p/a (or 2% of turnover) to make these big decisions.



    It is also not good enough to say that we looked but Neil is the best option. We’ve been there and done that before- we looked for a CB but Jack Hendry is the best we can get; we looked for a replacement for Armstrong but Mulumbu on a free is the best we can get. After a while, those in charge are not doing their job well enough if the “best we can get” is the lot we have been provided.



    Also, taking Kilmarnock to 3rd as manager is a fantastic achievement. Even if Clarke opts not to come to Celtic, it still does not mean we should settle for Neil.

  24. Emilio.

















  25. Perspective is needed. A treble treble will be a towering achievement.



    Regardless of the result yesterday, Celtic will need to appoint the right manager and improve the squad.



    That result has no bearing on next season. Let’s move on, win a treble and have a productive summer.



    Happy to see CQN isn’t overly negative. When we look back these will still be the good times.



    Hail Hail

  26. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on 13th May 2019 10:17 am




    The criticism of the set up of the defence at the free kick is valid, though how much of that was Bain’s responsibility I don’t know. The criticism of his decision not to dive isn’t valid. He assumed one of the attackers was going to make contact with the wall. That was the correct decision at the time.

  27. Yesterday’s result was not good, but it wasn’t disastrous. We are still champions, we are still on course for a treble treble and 10 in a row is still the goal.


    Let’s enjoy 25th May, as we have done for 52 years, this one is a wee bit special.


    It may be that yesterday will have implications for some of our current squad and management, but it most definitely will not define our season.

  28. MadMitch on 13th May 2019 11:00 am


    DB @ 10.52






    ‘Plus he would need the confidence that the MIB will give him a couple of free shots every game.’










    He’s clearly an unprincipled individual though to go down that road. And for what? To ingratiate himself with the scum and dregs of society? A weak, pathetic low life of an individual.

  29. traditionalist88 on




    You’re right that its the job of the CEO to get the best possible manager who wants the job in.



    I don’t know why some people are finding it so hard to grasp that that man may be Neil Lennon, especially given the number of high profile candidates linked who have ruled themselves out or taken another job already.



    Yes, Lennons early Euro record was sketchy but showed marked improvement.



    Its more the lack of (viable) alternarives suggested by the doubters than I find irritating.



    People talking about ‘progressive European coaches’, all of whom seem to have one thing in common – their parents seemingly forgot to register their births and give them a name!



    I’ll throw a name out there, just for talking sake…Quique Setien, manager of Betis. Plays very attractive attacking football and has an eye for a player, highly thought of in Spain. Question marks defensively. Don’t think he speaks English.



    So for talking sake lets say the above hurdles turned out to be minor, hes actually tactically sound and his English is reasonable enough. Maybe Leigh and KT have picked up a bit of Spanish from Emilio!



    The guy lives an amazing lifestyle in Seville, managing one of Spains most popular clubs and with decent pulling power in the transfer market. Even if the aforementioned potential obstacles were nothing to worry about, how do we go about convincing him to come to Scotland to start pre season training in June with potential Champions League qualifiers in Gibraltar or NI to come a couple of weeks later?! Whats his knowledge of the game in Scotland and of our squad, first team and development squads?



    A whole lot to catch up on in a short timeframe for many of these unnamed progressive European coaches.




  30. traditionalist88 on

    If we went straight into the Champions League group stage the range of coaches desperate for the Celtic job would be much wider.



    The reality is that we don’t, we have to play FOUR rounds of qualifying – meaning a very early start and high pressure matches with lots of travelling before the league even starts.



    Its not an easy sell to players or managers, convincing a ‘progressive European manager’ to leave his current secure employment, possibly in Central Europe where he is well located to move around the continent and probably has a nice lifestyle, to pack up and move to Scotland.




  31. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    AThe first goal was similar to the one Herman lost in Munich.


    If there is fault to be attributed, then I suggest that the defence sat too deep, virtually on top of Bain.


    As a result, he couldn’t move until the ball passed the last player, friend or foe.



    Any touch would have left him stranded, therefore, he had no time to react properly.

  32. EL @ 11.11



    JD has not turned into a cheap-shot merchant to please the great unwashed end of the TFOD2.1 support spectrum — he has turned into a grade A cheap-shot merchant because that is what is expected of him by his manager and the coaching staff and that is what will get him a game.



    AMcG — on yesterday’s showing sitting in the stand looks as if he goes swimming in caffeine three times a day.



    There is focus and engagement and then there is the 200 yard stare.


    He looks shell shocked to the extent that he should visit his GP.


    PTSD in football — not sure but he does not look well.

  33. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ TRADITIONALIST88 on 13TH MAY 2019 11:28 AM



    Would Neil have been anywhere near the job if Brendan completed the treble treble and left? As I asked before, what level would Neil be at but for becoming caretaker at Celtic? English Championship? English League One?



    Neil was the perfect caretaker- out of work, having managed the team 5 years ago and was an opposing manager the last few seasons so well aware of the Celtic team and Scottish football at this time. That’s fine. He is not the ideal manager to take us forward.



    Would anyone want MON back? If not, why? I would take MON over Neil.



    I just can’t abide everyone setting the bar so low for Celtic. Everything seems to be binary on CQN- it’s Neil or nothing else as no one wants to come to Scotland.



    We currently have a PSG and Dortmund player on loan; French under 21s (being the most talented bunch in Europe at present) have signed for us; we have regularly appeared in Europe and have a turnover of £100m and a pretty decent wage bill. But no one wants to come to Celtic? It’s preposterous.



    We are parsimonious in every aspect of running the club save for the remuneration of our CEO.