I was disappointed to hear Neil Lennon was ‘mutually consented’ by Bolton yesterday. He picked the club up off the floor early last season, putting together a remarkable run of form which saw them talked as promotion candidates, but a reply cup defeat to Liverpool saw momentum dip. The year since has seen Bolton look like the relegation fodder they were before Neil’s arrival.
Forget all this nonsense the newspapers are throwing around this morning (anything to undermine the team ahead of Kilmarnock on Saturday), Neil’s ship has sailed in Glasgow, but he should plan to remain in the game.
The people of Bolton might not have seen him at his best, but he’s a genuine managerial talent. After a shaky 18 months at Celtic he turned a corner and became a remarkable success, crafting a team who could compete with anyone in the world.
Looking back now, I think the intensity of the Celtic job got too much for Neil. It’s a 24x7x365 life, you need vast oceans of patience, and need to be prepared to make enormous sacrifices. It’s not just about structuring a defence to subjugate wee Leo and his pals.
The Bolton job was always going to be a tall order. He picked them up in a relegation spot, there was no money to improve things, while each passing month the financial position deteriorated. He also had to find an unusual pre-match technique to address the ‘I know you’re not getting paid but how about giving 110% anyway?’ problem.
The same media who are trying to disrupt our title challenge have misread the mood music this time. If anything, they’ve focussed the support on the task in hand.
On another matter………….. I’m one of the many who have signed up to Zip Slide across Celtic Park on Easter Saturday morning in aid of the Celtic Foundation. This is a great initiative; all those who have signed up have paid event costs, so money raised goes straight to the Foundation’s mission to improve Health, promote Equality, encourage Learning and tackle Poverty.
The work the Foundation do in our name is incredible. If you can contribute, please do so here.