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On writing Celtic, or their manager, off

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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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341 Comments

  1. I am disappointed and still sore about Saturday, i am still hurting and cant really bare to think about it. There is too much i cannot understand.

     

     

    I am however taken aback at the reaction which seems to have landed at everyone and their dogs door. There is some truth in what Paul says. We’ve won everything for years and started this season with 25 points from 30. We lost one game with an injury and COVID ravaged team. Big facts. I cannot emphasise this enough, had we been at full strength and the opposition been missing half a dozen key players the outcome would have been different.

     

     

    Is everything perfect, no. Is everything even good or great, no.

     

     

    Another thing i cannot emphasise enough, i think they have peaked to early. Look at the evidence, how could they fall apart so badly just a few months the ago yet expect to breeze through this season? It just defies all logic and everything we know and understand about football.

     

     

    We are all disappointed but nothing is lost. It’s easy to get in a wee bubble and worry but take a minute to look at the bigger picture. I am confident we will hit out stride when it matters because the evidence and experience tells us that’s what will happen.

  2. How do you reconcile the common ly held view that Neil Lennon is a poor manager and Brendan Rodgers is a good one, with their respective win rates in managing Celtic?

     

     

    Surely the object of the game is to win , so the win rate stat is the best measure of how good you are at your job.

     

     

    Both managers played in the same domestic competitions with roughly the same domestic opponents (the ibrox mob have been there since Brendan arrived).

     

     

    Well some try to reconcile it by saying it wasn’t the manager who got the win rate- it was the talent of the squad and the money he had available- saying, if the other lad had that he would have surpassed the win level too.

     

     

    Not very convincing or compelling that one. We really don’t have the exact figures and they do not seem to account for how you make a poor manager better than a good one.

     

     

    So, we rationalise further and say that Brendan did better against European teams. What do the stats say there?

     

     

    In the past 5 seasons, Brendan’s team won 16 lost 18 and drew 8 in Europe, He qualified for 2 out of 3 CL campaigns finishing 4th and 3rd. In his one Europa Group he finished 2nd and lost a lat 32 tie.

     

     

    In contrast, Neil won 13 matches, lost 4 and drew 3. He is 0 out of 2 in CL qualifying campaigns but 2 out of 2 in qualifying for Europa League where his team topped the group and his team too lost a last 32 Europa.

     

     

    Neil has the better win record but, when adjusted for opposition, it is arguably as good. And, when further adjusted to include Neil’s first spell in charge (210-14, if that is a fair comparison), Brendan’s overall record is superior, but Neil claims the high water mark of a last 16 CL achievement.

     

     

    So , we cannot twist the record by showing that Neil was financially advantaged or that Brendan was clearly superior in Europe; certianly not enough to overturn the hard facts of the win rate.

     

     

    So, we are left with the last resort argument. He performs poorer agaisnt the Huns. Here, there is evidence. Brendan won 3 out of 3 against the Breadman, 3 out of 3 agaisnt Pedro Caixinha, and 3 out of 5 against perennial caretaker Murty (who managed 2 draws). He played Stevie G’s rangers twice, winning the first and losing the 2nd, before hightailing it out of Dodge, leaving Neil Lennon to win the next game against Stevie G in that 2018/19 season before losing the dead rubber when the league was won.

     

     

    Last year Neil and Stevie G played twice in the league, winning one apiece, both away from home. Neil also beat Stevie’s mob in the LC final but that doesn’t count as they played better than us.

     

     

    This year we have playe one and lost it. Overall BR has a 50% win record vs Stevie G and NL has won a 60% win record against Stevie G. Troubling truths, the old stats.

     

     

     

    Whichever way you cut it, financially advantaged, better in Europe or better vs the Huns, it is hard to overturn the hard facts of the win rate stats.

     

     

    My best attempt at explaining it is the Recency Effect.

     

     

    Neil is with us now and is losing vs them now. It may only be one game this season but it was a big one and we are hurting loads.

     

     

    Brendan is long gone and, as we do with players not being picked or who have retired or left the club, they become better players and managers when they only have to be evaluated in memory and not in reality.

     

     

    Neil has a great win record with Celtic; he has served us well but, he has the unfortunate handicap of still being here. Whilst he is here and whilst we are behind them in the league, he will continue to be evaluated as a dinosaur, non-coach, clown and much worse.

     

     

    Only winning and improving this year’s stats will get the shine back on that overall win rate stat.

  3. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    A few months ago Paul67 published a leader speculating on what FFP might look like in future for Sevco.

     

     

    PSG are a year ahead.

     

     

    Di Maria, Neymar and Mbappe all still in situ.

     

     

    The rest of the squad filled with loanees, unfit free transfers and donkeys signed from Everton (who were probably glad to get rid of them).

     

     

    No capacity to splash – Mbappe’s huge transfer fee (following his farcical LOAN) has left them with no option but to buy second raters like Choupo-Moting and then try to sell them after a year at a profit.

     

     

    Hail hail

     

     

    Keep The Faith

  4. Re P67s leader post today.

     

    At the end of the season, we will see if Paul’s senior source is right , but currently the facts are that our club is not coping with the new rules of football

     

    On the park, the team is not coping with rule changes on crowds

     

    Further, in March we could find ourselves in a situation where we are 3 or 4 points off the pace and the league gets pulled – more new rules.

     

    The new rules are no full houses and we could face a 26-30 game league.I would also be confident a full house would have beaten Ferencvaros even in a one off.

     

    But, we didn’t have a full house in CL and are very unlikely to have one this season domestically.

     

    So, going back to the senior source, how good are our grey suited board at coping with change?

     

    Have they coped with changes to CL qualification or got us closer to joining a bigger league?

     

    The answer is no, and that is a big worry.

  5. SETTING FREE THE BEARS FOR RES. 12 & OSCAR KNOX on 20TH OCTOBER 2020 9:58 PM

     

    How do you reconcile the common ly held view that Neil Lennon is a poor manager and Brendan Rodgers is a good one, with their respective win rates in managing Celtic?

     

    ……………………………………….

     

     

    To cut to the chase, Brendan Rodgers took us to two CL group stages earning the club in the region of £50-60m. The problem for Neil is not win rates, it’s one off important games. He no longer seems able to win big games at home or abroad. We know all about failures agains Cluj, Copenhagen and Ferencvaros which have cost the club millions but we do not appear to be able to compete against Rangers. We have been totally outplayed in 4 of the last 5 games. We loved how we won the League Cup against them after taking a pummelling but that was actually the worst performance of all in those last 5 games. But for Fraser Forster, it could have been an annihilation. Additionally, Brendan Rodgers plies his trade in the EPL. He may be a snake and have faults such as not having a Plan B but he is an excellent coach. Can you see Neil being in demand in the EPL after Celtic?

  6. I am off to bed now but I will look in tomorrow to see how those who make up the commonality to which SFTB referred respond to his post @ 9:58pm

     

     

    He ( SFTB) put his summary before his thesis but here is what you have to answer:

     

     

    ” How do you reconcile the commonly held view that Neil Lennon is a poor manager and Brendan Rodgers is a good one, with their respective win rates in managing Celtic?

     

    `night all.

  7. (My Daughter has gone out after showing me how to do linking things. What follows may or may not work.)

     

     

    Glasgow Live (I have only just come across it so I have no pre-coceived notion of its stance on anything) seems to have a wee bit of a downer on Celtic.

     

     

     

    Celtic cash blow as UEFA cut Champions League and Europa League prize money:

     

    https://bit.ly/3m9XFAT

     

     

    Chris Sutton questions Neil Lennon’s Celtic future as pundit makes dressing room claim:

     

    https://bit.ly/3kjQFkz

     

     

    Supercomputer makes Celtic Europa League prediction:

     

    https://bit.ly/2FLF5Qj

     

     

     

    Dan

  8. ‘If you write this Celtic team off – including the manager – you have not been paying attention.’

     

     

    Paul, I hope you’re right. Personally, I’ve never rated Lenny as a coach. He’s on record as saying that he believes tactics are overrated. Go figure. The room at Lennoxtown that BR has built with every bit of data on the players now lies empty and unused.

     

     

    Lenny’s strength was in his management and motivation of the players at his disposal. It would appear that he can’t even do that now.

     

     

    I genuinely hope that you aren’t insulted but I can’t help but think that your article has been prompted by the whisperings of another.

  9. Neil Lennon has great win rate, so let’s just keep him until the league is lost . I give up with some people.

  10. glendalystonsils on

    IMWANDAN

     

    If you log on to NewsNow Celtic , you will not have to look far for headlines slanted against Celtic and I don’t just mean in the aftermath of Saturday . Glasgow Live seems to come up with the same guff appearing in the Evening Times , while other publications seem to have a link with the Daily record , neither of which are friends of Celtic .

  11. SFTB

     

     

    Statistics can be great but don’t always reflect reality. Against the Huns, BR’s Celtic dominated. In the past 3 games against them Gerard has got the better of Lenny, yet despite having 10 months to muster a game plan to address the previous two encounters the Celtic manager wasn’t able to do that.

     

     

    On Saturday we watched a Rangers side who were incredibly well coached and organised. They’re not better individually than us but with, and without, the ball they knew exactly what their job was.

     

     

    In contrast, we looked a disorganised, ill prepared shambles.

  12. HT

     

     

    Brendan’s team didn’t look so dominant in his 2nd fixture vs Stevie Gee

     

     

    I agree that we have not kicked on this year at all and I am further surprised as to how Griff and Ajeti, without any reported injuries can be deemed not fot to start a match this far into the season. It really, really does not take that long.

     

     

    We called it wrong with the Elyounoussi/Klimala partnership. Elyounoussi tried a few spins and came “close” once but Klimala should be a clear 3rd choice behind the other two, fourth choice when Eddy returns.

  13. HT

     

     

    Lenny’s rep suffered terribly for his first spell with us. His demonisation in the Scottish media meant that clubs that would normallly consider taking a punt on a young manager who had masterminded a win over Barca and a last 16 CL achievement, would get a better offer than Bolton.

     

     

    Bolton was a basket case; Lenny did not fail there, despite how quick many of our own are to proclaim this; he was doomed to mediocrity in that job. And he achieved at Hibs, the question mark there was over whether the dressing room unrest was Lenny’s failure or a convenient way of making himself available.

     

     

    Brendan Rodgers is a more family-friendly option, if you like that sort of pretence, for the English clubs. But they shied away from giving a chance to a snarling aggresive, street brawling fenian which is what the press told them he was.

  14. HOT SMOKED on 20TH OCTOBER 2020 10:26 PM

     

    I am off to bed now but I will look in tomorrow to see how those who make up the commonality to which SFTB referred respond to his post @ 9:58pm

     

     

     

    He ( SFTB) put his summary before his thesis but here is what you have to answer:

     

     

     

    ” How do you reconcile the commonly held view that Neil Lennon is a poor manager and Brendan Rodgers is a good one, with their respective win rates in managing Celtic?

     

     

    `night all.

     

     

    ———————-

     

     

    I’ll bite!

     

     

    Jock Stein’s win ratio for Celtic was 70%.

     

     

    “Statistics are like mini-skirts .. they give you good ideas but hide the most important parts.”

  15. weebobbycollins on

    “Brendan’s team didn’t look so dominant in his 2nd fixture vs Stevie Gee”

     

    SFTB lobs a grenade and goes to bed…

     

    Well, I am…goodnight guys, we can all kiss and make up tomorrow…

  16. SETTING FREE THE BEARS FOR RES. 12 & OSCAR KNOX AND FAMILY on 20th October 2020 9:58pm

     

     

    “Neil has the better win record but, when adjusted for opposition, it is arguably as good. And, when further adjusted to include Neil’s first spell in charge (210-14, if that is a fair comparison), Brendan’s overall record is superior, but Neil claims the high water mark of a last 16 CL achievement.”

     

     

    You cite Neil’s very laudable Champions League last 16 achievement from about 7 years ago.

     

     

     

    “Brendan is long gone and, as we do with players not being picked or who have retired or left the club, they become better players and managers when they only have to be evaluated in memory and not in reality.”

     

     

    However, Brendan only left 3 seasons ago and somehow we seem to have a rosy memory of his achievements because it was a long time ago. So if we look to years gone by to praise Neil’s record that’s O.K. but with Brendan, it’s a case of ‘distance lends enchantment’?

  17. I am not astute enough to judge what path Celtic should be heading down in terms of manager/coach/ players.

     

     

    Based purely on discussions founded on myth, legend, love, emotion, dark moonlit nights with home distilled stuff in a shared but wiped tea stained mug (and what other club in the world can lay claim to such a foundation), what I will say is that no way Lenny should be prevented from taking the attempt at the fourth treble to a conclusion.

     

     

    I would find such a move hard to reconcile with the dreams I was reared on. (I know they were in many cases fictional but so is life in general).

     

     

    After that? Above my pay grade, outside my sphere of influence and far far beyond my capabilities.

     

     

    Dan

  18. I think we are all of the same opinion that the major problem is our lack of a proper coaching setup

     

    Lenny is maybe a decent manager but is not a coach .

     

    So how about this ,and it is only my opinion so don’t shoot me down.

     

    Why don’t we contact the following and ask them about up and coming coaches in football arenas

     

    1,Pep Man City in Spain

     

    2)Klopp in Germany

     

    3) Wenger in France

     

    4) Bielsa in Argentina / South America

     

    May be fanciful but we are Celtic , Why not .

     

    Why are we so parochial that we only look out our back door ,Celtic are known all over the world let’s exploit it HH

     

    Only my opinion so don’t lamblast me

  19. SETTING FREE THE BEARS FOR RES. 12 & OSCAR KNOX on 20TH OCTOBER 2020 10:50 PM

     

    HT

     

     

     

    Brendan’s team didn’t look so dominant in his 2nd fixture vs Stevie Gee

     

     

     

    I agree that we have not kicked on this year at all and I am further surprised as to how Griff and Ajeti, without any reported injuries can be deemed not fot to start a match this far into the season. It really, really does not take that long.

     

     

     

    We called it wrong with the Elyounoussi/Klimala partnership. Elyounoussi tried a few spins and came “close” once but Klimala should be a clear 3rd choice behind the other two, fourth choice when Eddy returns.

     

     

    ——-

     

     

    My friend, we didn’t call anything wrong, the manager did. We destroyed teams from January last year when we changed to 352 and two strikers. Despite that Neil has constantly played a system this year with either only one up front or a two where only one is a recognised striker.

  20. Fanadpatriot,

     

    I suspect they wouldn’t answer the phone, but the idea of a different view would be incredibly valuable

     

    When NL joined first time , I thought one of his first appointments should be a top coach.

     

    As it was, he went for relatively inexperienced rookies / mates and whether he chose or did not choose JK and GS by default has once again surrounded himself with relative rookies.

     

    We should also remember a good coach isn’t always a good manager and vice versa.

     

    Slightly off piste, but I have always though John Collins has a lot to offer Celtic. He clearly wasn’t Mr Popular in the dressing room, but he is bright, knows the club, has a wealth of domestic & international experience and in imho he is the sort of person we should be looking to send around the world looking at different tactics and training and trying to bring that knowledge into our squad.

  21. SPIDEY101 on 20TH OCTOBER 2020 10:57 PM

     

    HOT SMOKED on 20TH OCTOBER 2020 10:26 PM

     

     

    I am off to bed now but I will look in tomorrow to see how those who make up the commonality to which SFTB referred respond to his post @ 9:58pm

     

     

     

     

    He ( SFTB) put his summary before his thesis but here is what you have to answer:

     

     

     

     

    ” How do you reconcile the commonly held view that Neil Lennon is a poor manager and Brendan Rodgers is a good one, with their respective win rates in managing Celtic?

     

     

     

    `night all.

     

     

     

    ———————-

     

     

    Interesting stat. Is that domestically or in all competitions?

  22. Apologies this is the part that should have pasted!

     

     

     

     

    ‘I’ll bite!

     

     

     

    Jock Stein’s win ratio for Celtic was 70%.

     

     

     

    “Statistics are like mini-skirts .. they give you good ideas but hide the most important parts.”