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. If we don’t look – we will not find…Can you honestly tell me that Blanc or Vieira will be worse than Lennon !!


    Both French world cup winners, will know the best young Frech talent..should be able to coax the best out of our current French contingent and attract others. Give us a shape & style than might make us better to watch.


    Get the players FIT and use moden coaching techniques.



    Lennon has had MORE than enough chances, should have been binned after Cluj debacle last year…yet we sat back and allowed even more embarassment against a rank average pub side like Ferencvaros. Who in their right mind will give this loser any money to spend, who will sign for him knowing he is as good as sacked.



    Let’s stand back, support and give Sevco the title on a plate…in fact the TREBLE as we can’t be bothered.


    We did hee haw when they cheated us for years, we did hee haw when we have the proof, now you want us to do hee haw a we throw away the 10. It’s time for ACTION

  2. Go tell the Spartim on

    Oh dear………


    Why is one of the best paid CEO’s in UK football unable to check the cv’s in his drawer from the time he appointed Lennon in the shower.



    This merely confirms that the plc and its acolytes have given up the league, the question is why? And why now?



    Why can’t our PR department not write shite like this?

  3. onenightinlisbon on

    The 10 is achievable but without a significant change of direction.



    It’a almost as if the board don’t wan’t us to have it…………



    Which is why the site should have an EDIT function, at least to allow posters 5 minutes to correct errors.

  5. Henry Joy earlier:



    ” A section of our support nowadays think like der hun, acts like der hun and are no better than der hun.”



    I agree.



    Evidence? CQN. Paul offers a view with which some ( many?) don`t agree so Paul must be a puppet for Peter Lawwell. As I disagree with the views of those posters, am I a puppet for Paul?



    As far as I am aware, Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond have been here during the past nine years . If they are the problem, why has the current level of criticism not been seen in all those previous seasons?


    People are angry because we are losing so often and they have to blame someone.


    Maybe we are losing because of a combination of factors where `blame` cannot readily be apportioned.


    Obviously, I am not happy with the current (!) state of affairs but, as I said a few days ago, hope springs eternal in the Hot Smoked mind.

  6. Paul67…



    Nope. Not buying it. Same for everyone that’s telling us that certain managers won’t come. Really? How do we know? Have we asked? Of course not. We’ve employed the same rhetorical fallacy I see attached to so many flawed arguments: You confuse your opinion with fact. Your opinion is NOT fact. No one knows what Pochettino et al would do if presented with a competitive wage and the oportunity to add a bit of trophy winning lustre to their CV’s. Would we keep them for 10 years? Probably not. Could we offer them something? Almost certainly – we turned Rodgers reputation around, for example.



    Additionally – the idea that we should settle for a failure, and failing strategy because we don’t know what else we might get? Really? Stick with a *failing* strategy in case it gets worse? How does it get worse? Expalin to me exactly how things get worse than the current situation?



    Finally, the notion that the players are behind the manager. Calling shananigans on that too. How many players have we been able to sign up to new contracts recently? The notion of rats deserting a sinking ship springs to mind. Anyone with a way out is seeking it. That is *not* consistent with the idea of the players being behind the manager – it’s consistent with players saying ‘it’s rubbish here, I’m leaving’. Ryan Christie is not a major player in the great scheme of thing – when that calibre of player is saying ‘I want out’, there a message contained therein. The players aren’t behind the manager – they’re just not prepared to commit career suicide by popping their heads over the parapet.



    And for all those saying ‘what’s your solution’ – here’s the thing, we don’t need to know. And we *shouldn’t* know. we don’t have all the info to hand to make that informed decision. We do have the information at hand to recognize the abject failure the club is at the moment and that a change is needed. Let me put it this way – I don’t know anything about heart surgery techniques, but if the surgeon enters the room carrying an axe, I know that something has gone wrong and I’m not about to find out what.




  7. Incidentally, is it a FACT that Lennie was offered the job in the shower?


    Likewise, was PL`s comment about not looking at any other candidates` applications meant to be taken literally?

  8. LUCKY CODY on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 1:16 PM


    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…









    Hunners a’ Byrds

  9. so SFTB …what you are saying is ..





    Tremendous news for the rest of Scotland’s football clubs as Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers promises never to win the treble unbeaten again, even if his side score more goals than the other team in all their matches.




    smiley no one except the populace of Scotland will decide when we have anither Referendum thing



    the very definition of Democracy …..



    come on the Celtic there is a league to be fought for …




  10. P8DDY



    ` but if the surgeon enters the room carrying an axe, I know that something has gone wrong`.



    Ah, so you DO know something about heart surgery techniques :-))

  11. prestonpans bhoys on





    Which is why the site should have an EDIT function, at least to allow posters 5 minutes to correct errors.



    Would take longer than 5 minutes to edit all that😂😂😂😂

  12. glendalystonsils on

    CELTIC40ME on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 2:38 PM



    We did indeed keep our big players although their performances this season don’t suggest to me that they as settled as they should be . Other than that , a lot of what was spent , was spent poorly and vital positions e.g. Broony’s position , left and right back and left sided CB were not adequately filled .



    Perhaps I was a bit harsh in saying nothing was done , I’ll amend that to ‘not nearly enough was done . These chickens are most definitely coming home to roost .

  13. V droll Bada



    I’d expect no less from you…..



    Start spreading the news


    Neil’s not leaving today


    We’re gonna make a brand new start of it


    In the New Year



    These vagabond blues


    Are racing away


    Right through the very heart of it


    Defence, Defence!



    I wanna wake up with a Board


    That didnae sleep


    And find we’re in for the 10


    Top of the heap



    I’ll get ma 60s style NY coat!



    HH jg

  14. We appointed an out of work manager who had been sacked by Hibs and before that Bolton.


    Let that sink in .



    John Kennedy could have taken over when BR left and still won us the League and SCup.

  15. CELTIC40ME @ 2:39 PM,



    The board did not know when BR was leaving.



    He upped and left overnight



    Do you really believe that, having read many of your posts and finding you very credible, I must believe yoy do – but can’t believe the naivette.



    Brendan Rodgers left with his backroom team, there was a contract between Leciester City and Celtic detailing who was going, what level of compensation Celtic would get for their leaving.



    This contract would have taken a long time to negotiate. IMO months.



    When Celtic had negotiated a settlement with Leicester City, Brendan Rodgers was given permission from Celtic to finalise his move to Leicester.



    So for clarity…



    The Board knew Brendan Rodgers was leaving… they had 9,000,000.00 reasons to know.



    Brendan Rodgers didn’t upped and left overnight, he followed all the protocols, negotiations and



    The move and narrative were contolled by the Celtic Board, they blackened Brendan Rodgers’ name and didn’t come clean as they didn’t want any blame.



    See res12, see 5wa, see LNS Commision, see today’s lead. These folk are hustlers of the first degree.



    Hail Hail

  16. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on




    One way of finding out who we are able to attract is to hold a suitably professional recruitment competition for the managerial position and then selecting the best candidate.



    You highlight the risks but worse than 2 wins in 12, falling apart at the seams risky?




  17. Tell you what, I wasn’t expecting someone as good as Sinatra but to give us Sydney Devine instead seems like a sick joke.

  18. HOT SMOKED on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 3:18 PM



    Maybe things were getting worse during the 9 and – with all due respect – you were failing to appreciate this.



    Maybe things are getting desperate for our OF Board who are having again to bend over backwards – and at the moment more obviously – to help keep alive an Ibrox based club from the perspective of protecting their chosen business model.



    I’m not criticising your opinion which you’re entitled to. I’m respectfully suggesting you’ve maybe not considered all the options.

  19. SFTB, firstly I concur that my views and those of JF don’t always (or even often) converge but they did this time.



    As far as giving Paul the courtesy of having his own opinion, I do usually do that; however today’s puff piece was nothing, IMHO, if not an apology on behalf of the Board. He has, I fear, compromised himself with such a blatant defence of incompetence and mismanagement of the Board so far the season (and probably last season as well).



    Indeed, did not those ne’er-do-wells in the North Curve display a banner in August last season with Lennon, Lawwell and Desmond in a car and the caption “don’t sleep at the wheel”? This has been more than a year in the making and there is no justification I can see for not taking remedial action.




  20. CHAIRBHOY on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 3:35 PM






    And I’m sure in good time there will be another story to be told regarding the circumstances surrounding the departure of K Tierney.



    25 million good reasons.

  21. CHAIRBHOY on 10TH DECEMBER 2020 3:35 PM




    To throw in the towel on the eve of European contention at the top table summed up Brendan Rodgers cowardice as a man, compromised forever both professionally and personally.

  22. glendalystonsils on

    It should have been almost impossible for us to lose a footrace with the huns . You would almost deliberately have to sabotage your own prospects .



    I can’t get that horrible , nagging thought out of my mind .

  23. Bhoy From The Boyne on




    We will still have that feeling in 10, 20 years time if they do win league this season.



    Still…24 games to go. We live in hope.




    I have that from 10 years ago.



    Derided as a nutcase ever since on here and in company.

  25. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on




    Would agree but for the fact they seem to be up to their old tricks down Ibrox way in relation to financing Gerrards squad (allegedly)




  26. Neustadt-Braw



    It was one of the populace of Scotland who DID define a generation thus.



    And, furthermore, as I stated, it was not the Invincible season or at the point of achieving the Treble Treble that critism was made of Brndan Rodgers- just re-visit and re-read the CQN pages from seasons 2 and 3. His stature has grown exponentially since he was not here

  27. VFR



    I have no problem with that.



    Criticise Paul’s article for what they say but just credit the thoughts to Paul.



    Some FF posters claim that our league titles don’t count when their team was not in the race. Some of our supporters dismiss our titles as a one-horse race.


    That is the same view but I can clearly see it is coming from two different sources.



    It’s maybe an eample of O** F*** thinking, but it’s both halves off the O** F*** that think it