Never follow Sinatra, where Celtic are now


There was an old adage in show business, “Never follow Sinatra”.  If you were on a bill with Frank, make sure you appear before him; do not wait until the audience was whipped into a frenzy.  No one could match his success, after him, the audience would be inattentive and disruptive.

We talked about this before when discussing the rolling managerial shambles at Old Trafford when their crooner hung up his mic.  It wasn’t apparent to me at the time, but Moyes is no Sinatra and never would be.  Their fourth tribute act is now clinging to his job while everyone knows he is not a good fit.

My friends, this is where we are right now.  Our own Sinatra left early last year for the Midlands without dropping a trophy and scarcely a defeat.  Neil Lennon took the interim job on the condition he would be considered for the permanent position.  Having delivered league and cup and enhanced his CV, he should have let some other mug try their vocal chords out on an audience that had been taken to the heights with unmatched regularity.  But that was never going to happen, he wanted the Celtic job, so would you or I.

Now you, me, Neil and apparently half the world texting me knows we don’t have Sinatra, and we’re midway through a gig.  Does anyone have Dean Martin’s number?

We hit the jackpot recruiting Brendan Rodgers in 2016.  Though not without his weaknesses (cough), he was highly talented with personal connections to the club.  The parallels with Martin O’Neill are clear, both transformed Celtic on the field and commercially.  Had there been a comparable option prepared to come to Glasgow in 2019, that commercial success would have made the decision clear, but there wasn’t.

The Dean Martin-types (Pochettino) are not coming.  They know not to follow Sinatra and they absolutely know not to walk into a club displaying the toxic withdrawal symptoms winning 11 consecutive domestic trophies apparently expose.

If a new manager arrived today and won the Scottish Cup, he would be forgiven if he checked for hemlock before supping from it.  That will deter those further down the food chain (Howe) from coming.  Anyone building a serious CV, with options opening out before them, would know there is a huge risk to career progression coming to Celtic this mid-season.  Instead, we would get those struggling for a job, or those who have never worked at our size of club/budget/pressure.  This is not all conjecture.

What is happening in the dressing room is important.  In the summer, several players had offers to treble their wages elsewhere but the manager asked them to stay, as it was a big season for the club.  None of them ‘pulled a Dedryck’, there was no manoeuvering.

This week, I heard independently from two people with access to the goings-on at Lennoxtown who assured me the players are 100% committed to the manager.  Everything is going wrong but the criticism and hostility has cemented their ‘sporting bubble’.  I doubt any with options to leave will want to stay at the end of the season, with or without this trauma, but some of our top performers are here because Neil Lennon asked them to give it one more season.

What happens if you sack Neil Lennon and ask an assistant coach to step up, bring in an unemployed drifter, or appoint someone from a smaller club who has never learned from or been tested at this level, is open to conjecture.  The possibility that you trip into the scenario Manchester United took feels highly likely.

As we all know, sacking your manager is the easy part, appointing a better successor is far more important.  Objectively, we have a far higher chance of making a horrendous mistake that bringing in a competent turnaround expert right now.  Our chances of getting it right in the summer will be influenced by how we, fans and club, react to the curtain coming down on our run of successive trophies.  Read the headlines and ponder, what kind of masochist are we going to end up with next?  This narrative needs to change or we will mix our own poison.

I’m not going to tell you we’re going to win 10-in-a-row because I don’t think we will.  I don’t think Neil will take us there and I don’t think anyone else will come in and make the difference.  None of us are accustomed to the defeats we have experienced in recent months, it is a bitter pill.  If we fail, the regrets will be long lasting, but short of a transformational appointment that is not going to happen today/this week/this month, we need to figure out how to get through this crisis without becoming a toxic destination for an aspiring manager.

And please, for all that he has gone through in our name, respect Neil Lennon, forever a Celtic hero.

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  1. Paul67



    Good post.



    Neil Lennon needs to change the side if he’s to get to Sunday never mind the quadruple final, his continual ‘strongest team’ selections are no longer required, the surplus players are exposed or excluded.



    Celtic supporters need to see the players we’ve bought, whether he thinks they’re ready or not we need fresh blood in the starting line up. It’s already too late for some, and an exodus will start in January.



    We’re moving to the new era and he has to start it, younger Celtic players need to step up, we have the candidates, his side and his bench has to include the future, not the past.

  2. One more thing, I’ve been clear since the start of the season that NFL deserved the chance at the ten.



    However I’ve also been clear that no matter what, the ten, another treble or the current implosion we needed a clear out and a new start with a young European coach and modern coaching set up.


    Our European chances need a big change.



    I would have much preferred that we were making this change from a position of strength but now it looks like we’ll be doing it on the cheap, as usual, and will end up with the current board still in place and another uk based board lacky in charge.

  3. NOTTHEBUS on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 12:50 PM


    If you actually believe that header today then you are either the most naive person on the planet or are related to Pinocchio Lawwell.

  4. Did i really get a podium ?? Good God . Wasn’t even thinking about it.


    The article is well written and honest though an absolute disgrace we have let the club deteriorate from a position of ultimate strength. Where was the forward planning ? Neil struggled last season and things already looked stale. Our nearest rivals imploded which made our task of winning the title much easier.


    It is evident the club think we need a managerial change. Yet they stick with his ineptitude because no-one else of quality wants the job? I take it we have approached other possible candidates ?


    Neil deserves our respect as he is a Celt to the core. I just wish he would fall on his sword and force the board to appoint an interim. Could our results be any worse ?

  5. !!BADA BING!! on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 12:53 PM


    New Celtic Manager Required- Mime Artists only need apply.


    Nobody worth their salt,will work for Lawwell, his name is toxic in football management.




    In a nutshell.





    Good post.




    Seriously, what’s good about it?


    It’s stenography.

  7. Mr Punch being interviewed as he’s used to having someone’s hand up his ass and controlling all his actions.

  8. “Our own Sinatra left early last year for the Midlands without dropping a trophy and scarcely a defeat.”



    If I can paraphrase oul Lloyd Bentsen:-



    “I listened to Frank Sinatra songs. I watched Franl Sinatra movies . Frank Sinatra was an idol of mine. Brendan Rodgers was no Frank Sinatra”



    Brendan was an ex-manager, out of work for 7 months, when he was grateful to come to Celtic. His reputation as a young innovative manager was shot to pieces by his perceived failings at Liverpool, his first big club. His best alternative to joining Celtic was waiting for the current manager of one of his ex-clubs, Swansea, to get sacked. Brendan had been sacked by Liverpool, mutualy consented at Reading and left Watford fans with a bad taste. Swansea was his alternative gig.



    Now, Frank had some ups and downs in his career but he was always a draw. The managers with a right to be compared to Sinatra are those for whom the top clubs would compete for interest- (Stein, Shankly, Paisley, Ferguson, Mourinho, Gardiola, Hitzfeld).



    Brendan, if he maintains his standards at Leicester, might get a chance to succeed or fail at a big club again but he won’t become a Sinatra until he has brought success to more than one big club in his career, and I am afraid Celtic do not count as a big club., so he is still scoring zro on that count.



    Pochetino & Benitez are not coming to CP because they are frightened to follow Brenatra; they are not coming because, to them, CP is a Village Hall, not a proper concert venue.



    Celtic and Rodgers were good for each other. We helped rehabilitate his rep and he continued the work of earlier managers in regularly winning trophies and titles. Following this season’s failures, his rep has been polished to a level that defies our memeory of his latter days. I invite you to read the CQN comments on his Celtic team’s performances in season two and season three of his reign. Nobody was calling him Frank then.



    He was no Chairman of The Board.



    If Brendan gets to be considered Sinatra material, where does that leave Stein?



    Brendan is no Sinatra. He is no Tony Bennett or Mel Torme either.



    He’s more like Karen Carpenter, technically accurate, but not a lot of soul

  9. NOTTHEBUS on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 1:04 PM




    Perhaps you could point out the lies in the Header rather than banding insults




    Simple question, how could Lawwell know that Lennon was the best he could appoint if he never looked at other candidates and kept all other CV’s in a drawer unopened?

  10. Wow. I thought I had read some defeatists stuff on this site but that editorial wins the prize.



    I need longer to craft to that than I can do on here, but i’ll say only this much; of all the pieces that have ever been published on here reflecting the thinking inside Celtic Park, this is the one which convinces me most that a radical course correction is needed at the club.



    It not only says “do nothing for fear of something worse” but it says “do nothing because the second rate karoake singer we replaced Sinatra with is the best we can get at the moment.”



    And that’s just simply not true at all, I’d go as far as to call that a lie.



    I don’t accept that there are no solutions just because nobody on our board can think of one.



    it’s bollocks.

  11. Let’s not miss the target here. We are where we are due to incompetent Board, PL specifically.



    That this season. of all seasons we should find ourselves in such a ridiculous position, with a free run at 10, 11, 12 or 13 in a Row is down to them and them alone, and no amount of ‘Know your Place’ baloney in the lead article will have me thinking otherwise.



    The writing was on the wall last year as we succumbed time and again to a better organised hun team and their rookie manager. If alarm bells weren’t ringing in the Boardroom then then you have to ask why not? However, as soon as NL failed route after easy route in numerous Euro comps, 3 within 11 months, at the costs of £60m upwards, then that should have been the trigger point.



    As ever with these things our PLC are hopeless and no amount of waffle on here about their brilliance or a ‘Generation of Domination’ will blind me from the simple facts. They are ruining us and worse will surely follow.



    We deserve better, much , much better.



    For goodness sake, get of your knees Paul67.



    This is OUR club, not theirs.

  12. BIG WAVY on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 11:58 AM






    For as long as you continue to make your informed judgements without recourse to a coaching badge, I’ll do likewise fella.




    Until Paul67 changes the criteria for posting here, I’ll continue to offer my tuppence, even to those who decide to take me down rather silly rabbit holes in the process. Until I get bored and then I’ll scroll by.










    Never mentioned anything about a coaching badge.


    On CQN, I have never and never will castigate or claim to make an informed judgement on a Celtic player or manager in condemnation as I never reached anywhere near that level to gain the knowledge or insights where I could be so conclusive in my opinion as you have with Neil Lennon.



    To state he’s incapable and incompetent infers to me that you have the knowledge of the requisite qualities that are there opposite to which you assert Lenny has. How else can you


    be so sure in your condemnation of him?



    I’ve played with and against guy’s who’ve played pro and played at amateur level myself, so I have an idea just how difficult it would be to reach the top level in Scotland.



    Do you? Have you ever kicked a baw? Or did they only get you out to kick the doors at hallowe’en?




  13. I know nothin’……….


    I know nothin’ of the potential merits of good managers, ( I never felt Neil was the right choice beyond an expedient) , to my naive mind tho’ should we not be lookin’ to a type of appointment that ressurects a career – I’m not advocating Big Sutty for a managers role, but in the way that we rehabilitated his scoring prowess, might we not do the same with a managerial outcast if the past pedigree was good?




  14. Abject surrender.



    Manager is incompetent and his lack of professionalism has taken us here.



    No mention of our interfering beancounter in all of this when he has played a huge roll in our decline from Rodgers , McGinn…



    Fans need to stop giving them money and starve them out. This season is gone and the model is broken.

  15. Like the lead, I have almost given up on winning the league this season.



    Unlike the lead, I do not believe we should just trundle onwards as we have no choice.



    I’m genuinely concerned regarding our next 3 to 5 years. We need to start the rebuild now.



    I may bookmark this article and read in the summer, alongside the one which states our (hopefully) new manager cannot be expected to perform well in europe as it has all come too quickly. Or explaining our crap start to the league campaign is due to him not having time with the players.



    Those who have mentioned money talks are correct. BR left us mid season for more money. We also received £9m.



    No more excuses. No more delays

  16. DBhoy,



    You’re still pushing this daft line it appears. I wish you and all those you permit to have an informed opinion (you make sure you keep checking credentials when you engage now) all the very best but I’m scrolling on by.




  17. JAMES FORREST on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 1:11 PM


    Wow. I thought I had read some defeatists stuff on this site but that editorial wins the prize.




    It sounds to me like Lawwell is really under pressure from what he told Paul to say.


    The words of a desperate man who knows that the pressure from fans on him won’t let up.

  18. Can I ask what happens. (And it’s 50/50 at the moment ) if we lose to Kilmarnock. Or god forbid hearts will we just bumble along because there is no plan or sign of a plan solution.



    Are the board hopeing that we will win the next few games and beat the beast at new year !



    If that’s their best plan then I can see some problems



  19. QUADROPHENIAN on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 12:54 PM



    Thing is at Celtic, for every VVD there’s 4/5 Kundai Benyus.







    That’s pretty much the same for everyone. How many Benyus, O’Connor and Afolabis come through clubs like Chelsea?



    That maybe an extreme example but picking up players at youth level is normal cattle trading. Benyu and Afolabi were free transfers.

  20. NOTTHEBUS on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 1:24 PM


    You never answered.


    I take it that you would rather not man up and agree he lied.

  21. DBHOY- do you think NL should carry on as Celtic manager?It’s a blog where people post loads of unqualified opinions……including mine.HH

  22. LAMBERT14



    You called me naïve for believing what Paul has written. I asked you to point out the lies in the article.



    You responded by asking another unrelated question.



    Again, please point out the lies contained in Pauls leader

  23. Big wavy



    At this juncture a predictable response and it doesn’t reflect well on you. Your takeaway-Know your limits and stick to what you know.




  24. Wow, but not in a good way…..



    I was appalled by the ‘generation of domination’ pash that was glibly posted on here in leaders from a different age/season.



    It was entitled and spoke to the arrogance and complacency throughout CFC ‘s leadership that have led us inexorably – and in the end, very quickly – to this sorry state. Hubris was crying out to bite us in the arse. And hubris never fails to deliver.



    I didn’t ask for a generation of domination. Just basic competence on and off the park, to take advantage of a once in a lifetime set of opportunities to establish our Club as Scotland’s clear no1.



    It was eminently achievable.


    Now we’re being told to sit down and be quiet. How very ‘Bankier’



    Mug that I am, I’ll still watch tonight with with love and hope in my heart.


    Mug that I’m not, not a penny more to Lawwell et al.



    HH jg

  25. BR was certainly a great stage performer. The best fit manager Celtic could get.


    More like Freddie Mercury.

  26. Paul67, this stinks of doing Peter’s bidding for him. What gives it away is the wee snippet that the 10 is gone. The only reason that the 10 is gone before Christmas is that the Board refuse to move Neil Lennon on and replace him. The assumption that no-one will come is purely speculation and I can think of no other business in the world (it is a business) that would gladly sit back at take second best just because there wouldn’t be a suitable candidate for the gig.



    The reality is that if Celtic WANTED to try and get a new (and better) manager than Neil Lennon they could pony up and get their man.



    KTF (although it is hard at the moment!)

  27. Well Paul/Peter this is the most tone deaf, inaccurate article you have posted.


    Any new manager would not be following Sinatra. He would be succeeding Sidney Devine.


    Lennon has caused the fastest decline, the worst series of results at home and in Europe and thrown away 10 in a row. He should have been replaced after Fenerbache when there was still time to salvage the season.


    Lawwell admitted that many managers submitted CVs after Rodgers left but he did not even read them. Grounds for dismissal on it’s own.


    To suggest that fans sit back and take this ineptitude to assist the board to replace Lennon NEXT season is laughable. Decent ambitious progressive coaches want to join ambitious clubs with a supportive functioning capable hierarchy. If Celtic gut the boardroom show genuine ambition to invest and progress in Europe we will be inundated with applications.


    Rangers, a dysfunctional debt ridden club with a toxic history and racist bigoted violent support appointed a rookie manager. They have invested other peoples money in the team, hired good experienced organised coaches and are now running away with our title AND performing excellently in Europe. Their own players derided their fans and are thriving in empty stadiums.


    The appalling suggestion that Celtic fans sit quietly while an overpaid and under performing Chief Exec and the worst manager since Macari destroy our club is disgraceful.


    Every decent fan who cares for this club should be at the demo on Sunday following Covid rules.

  28. Paul 67


    Just tidied up your header to bring a bit of clarity


    Had there been a comparable option prepared to come to Glasgow in 2019, that commercial success would have made the decision clear, but there wasn’t A TOP MANAGER PREPARED TO COME WHO WASN’T ALLOWED TO BRING HIS OWN ASSISTANTS AND BACKROOM TEAM, INSTEAD THESE WERE TO BE PICKED BY AN ACCOUNTANT, AND SAID MANAGER WOULD HAVE TO AGREE TO THE ACCOUNTANT SIGNING PLAYERS THAT HE DIDN’T WANT.


    Had there been a comparable option prepared to come to Glasgow in 2019 AND WORK UNDER THESE CONDITIONS…



    The Dean Martin-types (Pochettino) are not coming TO BE DICTATED TO ON FOOTBALL MATTERS BY AN ACCOUNTANT.

  29. Could a young European buck with modernist tendencies and no EPL baggage be attracted to our club?



    – Damn tootin’ right they could.



    Are we stuck on a limited talent pool that seems to be around ex-players, irishmen, scotsmen or fanciful EPL veterans?



    – Damn tootin’ right we are.



    Let’s think about the solution in a different way. Plenty of modern men out there globally. Go get em.




  30. NOTTHEBUS on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 1:33 PM




    You called me naïve for believing what Paul has written. I asked you to point out the lies in the article.


    You responded by asking another unrelated question.


    Again, please point out the lies contained in Pauls leader






    Pauls stenography report from Lawwell stated that Lawwell looked at other candidates but couldn’t get any better than Lennon.


    The opposite of what Lawwell said previously.


    One of these reports was a lie