On writing Celtic, or their manager, off


Sentiment this week is all so familiar from nine years ago, almost to the day.  15 October 2011 was when Kilmarnock established a three goal lead over Celtic, only for Anthony Stokes (2) and Charlie Mulgrew to save the blushes with a draw.

When an opportunity arose that week I felt I had to tell a ‘senior source at the club’ that his manager was not up to the task and that Rangers were on their way to winning four-in-a-row.  The response included “get a hold of yourself”, “Emilio will be back shortly” and “we’re going to win the league”.

I was wrong about Neil Lennon and the league, it was a lesson.  We have made mistakes every season since, as has Neil, including several this season, but some perspective, Odsonne, Ryan, James, and Christopher will return, as will Hatem, Nir and Mikey, whle Albian and Leigh will reach full fitness.

What you saw at the weekend is not the team who are going for their fourth consecutive treble, or who topped a difficult Europa League group a year ago.  We will improve significantly and I’ve no appetite to be told to get a hold of myself again.  There will be no need for a towel retrieval service.  If you write this Celtic team off – including the manager – you have not been paying attention.

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  1. UNCLE JIMMY on 20TH OCTOBER 2020 2:30 PM



    I think the fans absolutely have the stomach for a fight.



    How we go about winning that fight? That’s the sticking point for now.






    I agree. But I think the “Lennon out” brigade are showing signs of panic.



    The manager who has just lead us to a massively consistent season (really only bettered by the Invincibles) is now to be punted.



    To me that’s an admission of defeat. That this early in the season, after our first real setback, we need to take the most drastic step and take a massive punt on a new coach.



    Neil Lennon has helped deliver 5 out of the 9 trophies so far. He’s earned the right to take it on for a while yet.

  2. If Lenny, as manager, could put his ego aside, a short term solution could be to ask WGS to take over the first team coaching. He knows us. His enthusiasm on the training ground would lift the energy and the mood and give Lenny some much needed support.

  3. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    The first thing McNamara did on leaving Celtic was to bad-mouth the club in the Daily Record.



    Sorry, that’s not what Celtic ‘legends’ do.



    Anyway, I agree with those who point out we have been poor all season long, even with those who were out of Saturday’s game.



    My hope going in to the game was that those who were ‘distracted’ would knuckle down and focus would return.



    That was naive. It didn’t and we got the result that accurately reflects our form and attitude since the start of the season.



    Can things change? Of course they can. Only an idiot would suggest otherwise.



    Can things change without identifying the problem(s)?






    I don’t know what the problem(s) is and nor do any of you.



    But unless it’s fixed, the league will be gone by Christmas.

  4. Any retrospective action for the Colombian raising his hand to Broony and elbowing big Shane?




  5. Very strange that on a Celtic Blog,when the head honcho tries to write a blog that talks up the chances of a recovery,it gets met with derision,scorn,and more doom merchants.


    Maybe not so strange ,as the ones mentioned are just assholes,and this is normal from them.


    Do us all a favor and do not come back on celebrating when the 4th consecutive treble is achieved,you don’t deserve it.”Faithful through and through “means eff all to any of you.

  6. No Bobby Does It Petta on

    Glen Driscoll went to LCFC with Rodgers.



    He was a “Fitness” coach.



    Assume he was replaced at Celtic.

  7. weebobbycollins on

    I’m sure there will be huns lurking on here, selecting certain posts and pasting them onto hun sites…laughing at the best fans in the world…


    It’s not about the football, it’s only about winning…

  8. No Bobby Does It Petta on




    Doesn’t the nice weather out there ever lighten your mood?



    You seem to be perma-raging and aggressive.



    That’s where your wrong. It’s all about the football. Which has been dire all season

  10. Ernie, that last post for you was in jest, incase you thought I completely lost the plot.




  11. I’ll leave you with this wee thought…There’s definitely a place for criticism, I think it’s how it’s delivered sometimes that grates on folk, well it does me.



    Heard a guy say the other day ‘ critics are the true optimists ‘ which initially I laughed at before it prompted some more thought.




  12. Timaloy



    Interesting how we see things. I would view no stomach for the fight as harking back to 2011, hoping everything turns out well and doing nothing, per Ernie’s options.



    That’s not to say we shouldn’t be hugely appreciative of what the respective coaches have done for us since BR left.



    Examining our current position, our desired future state and taking difficult decisions to bridge that gap takes courage, in my opinion.



    Do we have the stomach for it?

  13. On paper, Paul has a valid point. But (cliche alert) football isn’t played on paper.


    The context of the two incidents are very different – against Kilmarnock we saw a side who dug in and gave their all for a result, on Sunday we saw a team bereft of a plan or any passion at all.


    While it may not be the manager at fault, heads are gone in the dressing room. Some want away, some are coasting as wont be dropped, and some know that it’s unlikely they will get a game whatever they (or others) do. That makes for a toxic cocktail in this of all seasons.


    The coaching team and senior players have a hell of a job getting heads back in the right space. If they can’t do it over the course of this week, then much as I hate to say it we do need a change in the coaching team to bring in a new voice and reset for the rest of the season!



    No Bobby


    And the sports science guys are still there, but don’t tell anybody.





    That’s not true – Rodgers took Glen Driscoll, Head of Performance and Jack Lyons, tactical analysis.


    Plus the 3 coaches.

  15. weebobbycollins on

    St Tams…if we had scraped an own goal win against the run of play there would be none of this vitriol…too much scapegoating and negativity from supposed fans.

  16. “NO BOBBY DOES IT PETTA on 20TH OCTOBER 2020 2:51 PM




    Doesn’t the nice weather out there ever lighten your mood?


    You seem to be perma-raging and aggressive.”



    Hmmm…I see that description as being more suited to your posts. I think TB is a fairly calm, positive supporter who has , perhaps, had enough of the negative, almost petulant, response to a bad performance.


    Cheerio for now.



    ‘The first thing McNamara did on leaving Celtic was to bad-mouth the club in the Daily Record.’







    Was it the club he criticised, or Peter Lawwell?

  18. No Bobby Does It Petta on

    Hot Smoked



    You’re absolutely right. If you look back over my posts today it’s clear I’ve been raging and unbelievably negative.



    Cheerio to you, pal.

  19. please tell who the 3 coaches are, as far as I’m aware Neil is the manager and doesn’t do coaching John is the assistant manager who we are led to believe can’t coach, we have a sports scientist and a dedicated goal keeping coach ,so who are the 3 coaches that a doing analysis/tactics/formation/defensive coaching .

  20. Rodgers was magnificent for 1 1/2 years the rest of the time teams had his system sussed partly due to him boasting about how he set up and approached games, his European performances were dire in my opinion and I know we got the CL but it was edge of the seat stuff, in that respect he is not missed by me , he was a development coach but we didnt half get some tankings in Europe, he made some players better and behind the scenes we were probably more professional, discipline and standards being key to that.

  21. onenightinlisbon on




    It’s not about the football, it’s only about winning…



    What football?



    Again we have those on here who are stating anyone who dares criticise Lennon is a hun.



    Maybe we should have to pass a test before being allowed to post?

  22. @ TIMALOY29



    ‘That this early in the season, after our first real setback,’



    How would you categorise getting knocked out of the CL qualifiers? Particularly to a team with a much smaller budget than ours.



    I think most fans would categorise that as a real setback, even if CL was not the number 1 priority this year.



    Lenny has faced two half decent teams this year and lost twice.



    Beating the likes of Accies and Dundee United should be a pretty safe bet for a Celtic manager who has spent £35m.



    We are lowering our standards at a frantic rate.



    As for Lenny earning the right. Scott Sinclair was our player of the season in his first year. By his third year he was in the stands.



    Neil can’t live off what he did 5 years ago (in a league without Sevco).

  23. Things won’t turn out ok . We have absolutely nothing on the coaching front ,never so plain as Saturday . Where in the name of god did the boy strachan come from , Or more importantly who in the name of god landed him on Lenny . There are big problems in our ranks , and one of them is a guy who should be keeping his nose out of the football dept of the club .

  24. 67 European Cup Winners on

    Write him off – no never


    Get him help definitely



    Paul67 your message today as yesterday is nothing is changing



    My view



    If you don’t change anything nothing changes



    I have eaten humble pies on here before I hope to God I’m eating more in May



    Hail Hail one and all




  25. As others have said Paul … admire your positivity but…



    Here’s one for you personally


    If your own company was failing or appeared to be failing in it’s primary function & worse if your staff showed up at an important client meeting & could hardly be bothered to pay attention or fulfilling their employee responsibilities – would you still issue a rallying cry around the team leader in question…






    Would you in the first instance, as a matter of some urgency, convene an urgent meeting with that team leader to establish precisely why he/she has lost a grip on what they are paid to do?



    None of the post meeting review would be an attack on the team leader – rather it’d be a correct response to an obvious failure in a task that was part of his/her job description & was well within their capabilities.



    Mistaking supporters general unrest & specific unrest over the worst performance against Sevco for as long as I can recall with a personal attack on our manager – is as ridiculous as you following the first option in the above scenario.



    You would also have noted, not ignored previous warning signs: neither do supporters.



    Neil’s affection for & legendary status with Celtic cannot become a shield from proper scrutiny.


    Does Neil really want to be indulged in this way because he is a club legend?


    Really – is that what this means?



    Real affection for the club means putting the interest of the club first, and, for club employees with a deep attachment to the club this can often place them in a serious dilemma.



    I can live with a failure of game management, strategic substitutions, goal scoring chances missed, dismissals, injuries – even team selections that I disagree with. Just as long as I can see that my team is competing, is working together & didn’t give up. I was left feeling that many on our team on Saturday did not meet that minimum standard.



    The post-match focus has to fall on Neil. His job is to coach, select & manage the team successfully through games & since we all witnessed the comprehensive failure in Saturday’s game he knows that he will have questions to answer.



    Not one Celtic fan that I know has anything less than a deep affection for Neil Lennon.


    I’m reminded of another Celtic manager who’d been a club legend but who’s shortcomings as manager led to a confusion between personal sympathy for them & focus on the welfare of the club. Jimmy McGrory didn’t deserve that but it became the elephant in the room for years. Celtic’s fortunes suffered during that period.



    I may be wrong but to me Neil seems an isolated figure at Celtic Park, and I wonder if he feels he has the correct level of support around him. I don’t know what’s wrong at the club but to ignore the faltering results & performances, the player unrest, the puzzling team selections, the wonky PR and crucially, the appalling lack of team spirit & effort on Saturday is anathema to me & it seems a few other supporters.



    Trying to raise awareness so that whatever’s wrong gets addressed is not disloyalty – far from it.


    Americans call it tough love but that’s not a phrase I like.


    I just know that witnessing an insipid, timid, lacklustre display against Sevco was the turning point for this supporter after I’d talked myself into making excuses to overlook previous warning signs.



    We all care: both about the club and about Neil Lennon.


    I hope neither of those sentiments are in doubt.


    Both deserve real support not blind support.

  26. Cornelius,



    Very eloquently put mate and I’ve struggled with the ‘doubling down, doing nothing and hoping for the best’ brigade here since Saturday. It’s nice, it’s their perogative but we need to intervene or patterns continue to repeat itself.



    We are kicking the can down the road to the next ‘wake up call’.




  27. 67 European Cup Winners on

    How to reconcile my instincts


    Our football this year has not been convincing


    Saturday was the last straw


    The team looked down lacked confidence and NL did nothing to improve the situation


    Hence I call for change



    Does this mean I am some sort of Hun who has no memory of NL achievements – no it does not



    I am grateful to everything NL has done for





    But factual results and the football I am watching prevent me from saying everything will be OK



    All on here who peddle the don’t panic message take the moral high ground on standing by NL – admirable – but it does not give you infallibility






    St Tams…if we had scraped an own goal win against the run of play there would be none of this vitriol…too much scapegoating and negativity from supposed fans.






    I can only speak for myself.



    As sevco closed the gap significantly on BR’s team, I called it out.


    When we got thoroughly out thought, muscles and played subsequently, I called it out.


    When Hail Marys and big FF enabled us to steal a win in the league cup final, I called it out.


    And as we’ve stumbled about all this season, with a single good performance v Hibs, I’ve called it out.



    The chickens are coming home to roost. Repeatedly.



    HH jg

  29. It is sad that contributors to this site are are not considered good supporters if they have anything other that positive and hopeful messages. Almost worse than having your support of Celtic called into question you get called names??


    WTF is wrong with people that you can’t comment as you see fit on whats happening in front of your eyes without being called a panty wetter…….tragic

  30. Long time since I last posted but felt had to in response to today’s article.


    Saturday was abject but not surprising. We have already struggled badly against even Scottish teams with a fraction of our budget and correspondingly poorer players. We have relied on last minute winners several times and almost conceded an injury time equaliser to Ross County if memory serves well enough.


    To put Saturday down to players being unavailable simply compounds the fault of a coach who went with a system even though he didn’t have the players to play it!


    On Saturday all we had to do if we were so depleted was field a team and deploy a formation that would have prevented the one result out of three possibles that was bad for us!


    That’s the managers job. There was no real compelling argument that we had to win, we just had to avoid defeat to stay in the box seat at the top of the league.


    We failed miserably and that abject performance suggests that things are not right behind the scenes.


    It was a performance bereft of ideas, there was no real change discernible during the game in our tactics or approach. On the park the players looked as if they had only meet in the dressing room before the game and been told to go out and make it as they went along.


    The huns are no great shakes and it has taken them in to their third season but they now have a system they know and work hard to carry out. They have now done this to us several times and we show no sign of being able to counteract it!


    Saturday was not a one off there have been too many below par performances that have cost us big time like Cluj, Copenhagen and Ferencvaros in Europe and the huns at home. On several other occasions domestically we have been rescued by individual bits of play or character rather than the fruits of a well worked system.


    Lenny was a safe, cheap and lazy option that could very well deny us a record 10 in a row in the way that he has already cost us 2 seasons of CL qualification!


    If the board share Paul’s point of view then nothing will change until it is far too late and Lenny will be sacrificed to protect the guys who gave him the job in the first place!


    Rodgers brought a level of professionalism and preparation to the club that put us miles ahead of anything in Scotland, look at how often we destroyed the huns, home, away and at Hamden!


    That has now gradually slipped away until we get to Saturday and losing to them for the second time in a row at home for the first time in 25 years!


    That’s down to more that just a few first choices not being available Paul and most of the support know that!


    It gives me absolutely no pleasure to have to write all this but something has to change or the league will drift away. Europe is a complete irrelevance this season. We need to bring in someone who can restore those levels of professionalism and analysis that Rodgers employed. If that’s alongside Lenny then fine but if he’s the problem then he has to go!