Celtic are sticking with Neil Lennon, a decision which might be inspired by the knowledge that replacing him isn’t necessarily the most straightforward thing to do…
Neil Lennon is staying at Celtic for the foreseeable future, then.
On Tuesday the club took the unusual step of releasing a statement backing their under-fire manager, amid widespread calls for his dismissal and a pretty lively protest at Parkhead, following their Scottish Cup defeat to Ross County at the weekend.
That represented the second cup competition they were eliminated from in a week, after their Europa League campaign was put out of its misery two games early by a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Sparta Prague the previous Thursday.
On the surface the decision to stick with Lennon might seem pretty surprising, but on The Totally Scottish Football Show this week, the panel discussed the reasons why they might not have made a change, and why it might not all be Lennon’s fault.
JJ Bull said:
“If players are letting them down, that’s something very hard to manage, he’s got to deal with different things in the team. The pressure is building, but Celtic have regressed. Fans don’t like losing any games, and they’ve lost one game in domestic cup competitions, and it’s enough to try and get him sacked, but you can see where the regression is.
“If they fire him and get someone in, they will have to get someone who is going to need time to recruit, put in new tactical information – that might take 18 months, and the ‘ten’ might be gone. It might already be too late.
“So do you keep the manager who might know how to turn it around and put more ‘winning’ players in there? Does the backroom staff need to change? There’s a lot of stuff that’s wrong, but it’s not that bad: they’re just having a bad time.
“I think they could claw it back.”
Meanwhile, Laura Brannan suggested one player who might make a difference:
“There’s a player who isn’t getting a chance at the moment who could turn their season around. David Turnbull has been out for two weeks because of the Covid situation, but he could be the saving grace, but is Lennon going to put his faith in him, because he hasn’t been tried and tested yet.”
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