Exclusive: Neil Lennon reveals secret recipe for recent turnaround
It doesnt rain but it pours. Just ask Neil Lennon. With a Fawlty Towers defence, a main striker struck by Covid and Wannaleave-itus, a common ailment amongst foreigners, he could almost feel the axe coming.
But despite the seemingly inevitable, his hooped heroes look to have turned things around, emphasised with a resounding four one away victory over a Motherwell team that might have held his career in their hands.
A stunned fanbase has been wondering all week just where exactly has this type of performance been hiding all season especially against their rivals, and more importantly can they keep it up?
Those of a nervous disposition fearfully hope a corner has been turned, the more relaxed feel sure it has been after seeing what they so passionately describe as ‘football the Celtic way’.
So was it a tactical masterstroke from the midfield battler turned main man or should the credit be given to the players? The post game press conference offered few answers but now having had time to reflect he opened up more on just what exactly has sparked his team into life, and the real answer has left fans of the club gobsmacked.
We caught up with the Celtic manager in The Crown Creighton bar on a busy afternoon due to it being pension day.
“ I usually play my cards close to my chest but on this one I feel credit must go where it’s due so I will spill the beans. It was the week before the cup final and we had no game so we were all off for the week. No point going in if there’s nothing to do. My wee lads first communion is coming up and I thought I would get his suit out of the way while I’ve time on my hands.
I went into the Tartan Store off Sauchiehall Street there and was discussing the traditional Lennon family pattern when I noticed the next customer staring at me. Assuming he was a Tim I stuck the right hand out to shake when all of a sudden he has me in the strongest headlock I’ve ever experienced and he walked me outside. I thought it was another Edinburgh special and got ready for the battering but he didnt release me, just walked straight into the pub across the street with me in tow and yelled ‘Two trays of beer, a clean table and eleven beer mats now!’
The lassie clearly knew who he was, for she fell on her knees, but I was still in the dark at that stage. The penny still hadnt dropped when the bar filled up with punters looking for his autograph and not mine, but I had a glimpse down when we were having a slash at the same time, of course I almost slapped myself for not immediately knowing who he really was.
Its not everyday you’re standing at the urinal next to big AweNaw” smiled the 47 year old Lurganman.
The infamous adult film actor is quite open about which team he follows, once telling reporters he just bled green and white, although unlike other famous compatriots James MacAvoy and Gerald Butler he maintains a low public persona which makes the encounter even more incredible.
We pushed Neil for more details of what exactly happened.
“He beat me in a five pint race, which meant I had to give him thirty minutes undivided attention, not the easiest thing when you are the Celtic manager in a East end bar and your mobile is ringing, but a bet is a bet.
I wont repeat word for word what was said but he grabbed the empty table and beer mats, me by the scruff, and proceeded to lay down the formation that would lie at the heart of our revival”
What happened next however may well go down in the Celtic Annals as one of the most inspired moves since Martin O’Neill demanded 5.75 million pounds to acquire a stocky blonde haired fellow Ulsterman from Leicester City sparking the love of a lifetime.
“ I decided if he could have that impact on me, and hes a formidable fella take my word for it, then the squad needed to hear it as well. They were drifting at the time, there was a few grumblings in the dressing room about leaving and doing better, and this despite the fact we were going for ten. The local lads couldn’t believe their attitude which lead to fight after fight, and of course being the manager the buck stops at your door.
I had nothing to lose by playing a wild card if you will, so I asked big AweNaw to go into the dressing room and speak with them. He said he would fit it in his schedule and to leave it with him. Little did I know he had watched the home Sparta Prague game from a corporate box with just his security, and of course like any of us he wasnae impressed.
As I gathered my thoughts in the press room toilet, he burst in, said ‘Stay out of it” before storming towards the dressing room. Big John and Strach’s were flung out and the door was locked.”
What happened next is now a matter of conjecture. Sources close to several players insist they themselves dont have the details to share, although leaked pictures of the scene post ‘row’ suggest it was more of a battle.
In grainy and brief footage viewed by this outlet three players are seen pouring water and waving towels above a prone Christopher Julienne, while a large group huddle in a corner witnessing Olivier Ncham and Odsonne Eduoard being chased in circles by a yelling figure, assumed online to be AweNaw but unverified by this outlet.
The Sun is reporting a friend of a player close to the action told them on condition of anonymity that the movie star had in effect “dissed them soo hard they had no choice but to defend themselves despite admiring him for what he’s done and all”
The Sun continues “Kris was about to step forward to defend the troops when Shane put a hand on his shoulder, looked down on him and said leave it to me.
They went nose to nose but after a flurry of fists he was out like a light. Kris emptied his bladder, and they all sat down and listened exactly like he was yelling at them to do”.
Its only been one game but many fans would tell you it was like watching a different team to what they had witnessed recently, despite the Par’s not being the strongest opposition.
Football has increasingly been turning to ‘guru’s’ as clubs seek to find any edge over their rivals in the high stakes high money world of the most popular (and richest) sport on the planet.
And of course celebrity stars are nothing new, a regular sight for elite teams not to mention the obvious boxing which almost has a sideshow of its own in announcing who exactly is in live attendance.
But direct intervention in first team affairs was always viewed as off limits whether famous or not, until now that is.
The Celtic manager confirmed that he and the entire playing staff voted to allow the mainland Europe based superstar access at all times to the camp.
“ He has been given the keys to the kingdom so to speak, which I feel will keep everybody on their toes around here. After the Motherwell game, which he jetted in for, he went in and gave the players a look. He didn’t need to say anything, but they all know he’s there watching and that’s enough to inspire.”
Theres more to the tale he tells us with a glint in his eye.
“ He had his man purse with him and said I could do with a shower myself, nodded towards the shower area where all the players were, said do you mind and sauntered on in.
Its generally a bit noisy over there, the players pointing and chanting ‘Wee’ Wee Jamsie or whatever, but as soon as he stepped in you could hear 23 jaws hit the floor.”
The players seem to have appreciated this refreshing approach the manager indicates.
“They still havent stopped talking about it to be honest. Ive even heard a few say they will tell the grandkids they showered with the great AweNaw.”
The Scotland born actor has not issued any public comment at this stage regarding his involvement with the side but a spokesperson for his bookings agency claimed off the record that he was advised against the extra work by his staff, but ultimately felt he could not stand idly by with so much at stake.
Rumours of a potential takeover bid and installing those he considers ‘true Celtic men and women’ to prime positions within the football club refuse to go away.
One publication recently polled fans and the new syndicate had almost universal approval.
This latest news will come as no surprise to those who knew him before fame though. Once an ordinary blogger, we contacted some of those who were fortunate to share a platform with the man tipped to take Angela Merkel’s position when she retires next year.
Jim the Tim “what a bloke. Only man I ever knew could eat two doner kebabs with everything on them in one sitting!“
Big Packy “Luv ya to bits bruv“
ATOB “He waffled shite, and men with big blog names,,,“
Mahe “He’s the lad’s lad, you know what I mean? First time I met him I was a bit starstruck and to help put me at ease he said ask me anything. I asked did he smoke after sex. He replied I dont know Ive never looked. A legend, pure and simple”.
Maggie Mc Gill “Call me“
CosyCornerBhoy “Hes what we called a Gigolo in my day. Keep away from Runaround Sue!“
Friesdorfer “Theres a CSC in Dundee named after him. He couldn’t walk down the street here.”
Oglach “On my stag the lads presented me with a signed AweNawNoArmeniaAnAllNoo Directors Cut and sure one night I threw a party and some bassa pocketed it. Still have the cover.”
BMCUWP “I’ve sat with Rod, and seen the attention he gets. But AweNaw is different level. Belfast Primark sold out of ladies undergarments when he visited. Subway in Japan has a sandwich named after him I heard. Foot long only of course. You’ll wanna keep your distance though, I had to move for all the thongs landing in my pint. Top bloke aye.”
It remains to be seen just quite how this celebrity intervention will tilt the balance in his teams quest for a historic tenth title in a row, however once bookmakers heard of his hands on involvement, odds were immediately slashed to evens.
They say the bookies are never wrong, but then it’s also been said giving one man so much is simply wrong.
Will two wrongs make a right? Only time will tell.
Gabriel MacKay, reporting from East Glasgow.
NAPS COMPETITION UPDATE
Saturday is the final day of Part One of the competition. After this,it splits into two tables,playing for two different levels of prize money. If you want to play for the top prizes,you have to be in the top eleven of the table. If you don’t fancy your chances against RAYMAC,the early pacesetter,then settle for the lower half!
As it stands,I reckon that bar a huge priced winner there are maybe nine entrants competing for the final three places at the top. So time to concentrate just that bit harder! BTW,I wish I hadn’t talked myself out of REGAL ENCORE two weeks ago at 14/1. Put it on my L/15 anaw…
RayMac £26.33. (4.22)
Cosy Corner B £3.50 (0)
The Real McCoy £3.00. (5.5)
Celtic Champs £1.80 (4.71)
Big Packy £0.86 (0.35)
Craig 76. -£1.50 (4.93)
Vogue Punter -£4.10. ( 6.13)
Leftclicktic -£4.38. (6.33)
Mahe -£10.10. (7.88)
Bada -£11.00. (6.26)
Jim the Tim -£11.02. ( 1.4)
Calton Tongues -£11.00. (1.95)
Gordon -£11.10. ( 3.23)
Jimmy NP -£11.25. (4.83)
BMCUW -£11.50 ( 7.63)
Chalmersbhoy -£14.00. (4.48)
Garry -£15.37. ( 3.00)
Twisty -£19.00. ( 11.6)
Big Railroad B. -£19.00. ( 7.65)
AS67 -£19.00. ( 4.66)
Valleybhoy -£19.00. ( 4.05)
Mea Culpa -£19.00. ( 0.63)
Napster’s follow the link
YES, YES, OH YES……😱
Thanks Real Mc Coy !
NAPSTERS,follow the link.
Only word for it.
A funny, light hearted take (true story) on the gloom around Celtic these days 🙂
Well done Mahe!
Coincidentally, the street I live in has a certain dual Scottish/German reference. Titter ye not…
The one I was brought up in-Kilwinning,of course-has a very strong Celtic connection. Makes sense,really.
Parkhead Avenue,believe it or not.
Is yours Kaiserstrasse?
Ooooops,that’s in Aberdeen.
(Ben) Vorlich Ave…
Raymac if you’re in bhuddy.
Your horse is a non-runner. I had it in my ITV7.
Bobby – Regal Encore 👍🏻. Had a wee saver on that JP horse. Like you I chose a nag for the nap 😂
Mahe – A Wondrous Story 👍🏻😂
Bloody hell-relegated in the Naps competition.
I’ve been quite lucky with that horse,I usually back it when it wins and don’t when it loses. Wish there were more like that!
Especially at the prices it usually runs at.
If that won’t get him back nothing will 😉
The Gombeen Man
I’ve seen reference to both sides of the divide calling each other Huns and glad to see you remember it. I dont recall it as clearly as I can other past events but perhaps that is because I stopped attending the games where both sides used it as a form of insult.
I reckon as you do that it became one sided from 1965 with Celtic’s ascendancy and their decline in support.
Your response also triggered a memory of an article from 2011 giving reasons why there was an attempt by our rivals to have “hun” classified as sectarian.
I called the article “Gotcha” after the section in the Ant & Dec programme where they put a celebrity in an not wanted position where they just had to except they had been played and there was no escape.
The background was The Famine Song which was our rivals response to The Billy Boys being deemed sectarian by UEFA , which supports your point of if it’s not one word/phrase it would be another.
The OBA has come and gone as will any attempt at addressing the symptom rather than the cause, which is the core fear of what will happen if one side/tribe gains ascendancy , something that needs addressing btw on the way to independence to make it happen in a beneficial way.
(The opening definition of sectarianism has been cut in half so it is not clear what the definition refers to but it’s good to go from there).
I think we will have to deal with his agent,mate.
Have to feel for the ref in this one,as Man Utd kick Arsenal off the park in 1987. Brutal.
Nice wee two to one winner today.
It has been less than a week since I last posted and I have always been lurking and scrutinising the excellent daily articles but I´m a dour old soul when it comes to dishing out daily “excellent article” compliments and so now I hope that goes without saying now .. every day ! Take it for granted I will now only pipe up when I strongly disagree with an article.
but before I say another word
Condolences to you Fairhill bhoy, your family and your fathers friends on the loss of your father. I hope you are all getting through it all. It´s never easy but the sun comes up every day. Also to weebawbabitty (sp?) my condolences to you and your family also on your recent loss.
Ceann Fine Mahe,
Thank you for such a massive accolade. The time and effort that you put into that must have been immense. Thank you Thank you
I am left asking the question however ; Have I just been Awe Nawed ? AND …….
I’m about to lose control and I think I like it
I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it
And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know I want you, I want you
Oh yes I do
…. is that even allowed on Sentinelcelts ?????????????
I am not worthy of your accolade although you forgot to mention how well endowed I am ?
Especially in the shower scene. Next time then please don´t forget.
Also I would like you to use this for the soundtrack of the;
“Awe fucking naw Awe Naw coming home again” brilliant movie script you wrote
I think to be used in conjunction with the shower scene
I thought it best to take a wee break after SC recent meltdown after the hun game.
I´m not sure who is posting a legitimate gripe anymore and wishes a response or who is just steam faced beeling and doesn´t give a tuppenny about a response and then after N minutes will no longer stand by their own professions. MacConfused.com.
That can make you look real daft. Not that I care about perception of myself just the time lost.That´s the perfect environment for a rammy and I come with rammy avoidance control as well as a built in avoidance chip of the late night perpetually antagonistic brigade.
The anti Bruce Springsteen fraternity I can just about cope with but not the one that used to beat me up for sneakily listening to his Born To Run , Asbury Park, Darkness on the Edge of Town and The River albums. That´s unacceptable to me. We need to dig out the SC constitution and refer to slagging off the boss statutes.
I do badly miss Twist&Turns if there was any man deserving of A Sentinelcelts Community award and bringing people together in a caring and genuinely concerned way without being overbearing. it is him. Extremely generous and fun and fair. I could go an on and say how much I miss him but he´s from East Whitburn and there are some divisions in life that are sacrosanct and cannot be traversed. The world police might prefer to describe it as insurmountable but us Downdies love our division. World Peace first then we can address, and only then that great divide. Lubo! Lubo! Lubo!
So I have never left just avoiding rammies .. trying to maintain blog harmony.. for all your sakes. Whatta guy 🙂
All efforts, initiatives , sweet talking etc. should be made to get Twists to come back.
I never went away.
Love every single fucking one of you
Awe Naw XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
p.s even when you are all beeling and talking shite
I’m So Excited ———
Alex Harvey was Just A Gigalo once upon a time.
Howeva, think you would present more like
David Lee Roth ———-
Did you miss the bit about Subway in Japan?
You are right about TWISTSNTURNS,of course. There are a number who no longer post,and I’ve no doubt they have their reasons. While it would be great for them to return,it’s their call.
I always wanted to be a gigolo,but I don’t dance.
Yes there are others too of course who I never mentioned. Twists and me being Downdies as well as his contributions is why I picked him out. It´s a tough time for many just now. Not normal times. You can only do so much and you have to pay attention and respect their wishes also. I understand
I would like to reinforce Awe Naw’s plea for Twists to return. He is severely missed, not least for news of how his business venture is doing.
His adventures echoed my own struggles with retirement. The fear of having nothing to do. No more challenges etc. The impact on self worth.
Like Twists I went back to work, albeit teaching online on an executive MBA program for two years. That cured me!
I do not know why you left. It happened during one of my absences from the blog. However, I wish you would come back. You are experienced and I will not attempt to teach you to suck eggs but if some poster irritates/offends you, just scroll past them. That is what I do and I assume tge same happens to me.
Anyway, should you remain in the bushes, I hope you are enjoying life and that you and yours have a great holiday season.
Shared Alphaville during the week. The family were commenting about the new McDonald’s Christmas advert.
Had to advise them of the original Forever Young.
Reiterate Best Wishes to Twisty 🙏🏻
I Can’t Dance – 🕺🏻🕺🏻
Or maybe this
yes I did but I thought it should be more prominent in the movie
Did Alphaville not follow up with Big in Africa ?
A foot long? Fuxake,how much more prominent do you want it to be?
Place your right hand on the bible 🙂
☝️What Rebus said.
AFTERNOON all and JIM, mahe great post you even mentioned myself and jimthetim53, not to be confused by jimthetim on the other channel 😍 awenaw ive told you this before, 10 years ago at least i was only young then😍 i logged on to cqn there you were giving it big time to the board loyalists😍 along with mags, I always said if i ever pluck up the courage to post I will never cross horns with you and TET,,such a shame TET fell out with us, he posts on cqn now, would you believe we are related no i would not have believed it either, untill he posted his granfathers name, small world, AWENAW luv ya to bits👍
Imitation, flattery and all that 😉
Evening all & Packy.
Have to add my name to the folk who wish Twisty was back. At the very least I hope he is well. And his lovely mum.
JIM, how are you pal ,yes agree with your post, TWISTY is badly missed on here, I just hope he lurks and knows we all miss him👍
Awe Naw, I was coming back from Bathgate a few days ago, came to the roundabout where you take the first turn off towards the M8 & Whitburn. However on that road further down their is a new roundabout (to me!). I took the wrong option and ended up in an industrial estate where there is a huge Aldi warehouse. I eventually came to a dead end and had to do a 3 point turn to escape!
I eventually got home. It’s not as annoying nowadays in retirement. Several years ago I would have been cursing myself trying to rush from A to B ! 🙂
Hiya Packy, living quiet today! How you pal?
JIM, ok apart from joans sister barbera who has been in contact with a girl where she works at the argos site, the girl has got covid19 so joans sister has to isolate for 10 days, so joan will have to go and see to her mum every day now so will not be able to work, but jim im not complaining there are a lot of people out there a lot worse than us,KTF luv you to bits👍
Packy, funnily enough that’s why I was in Bathgate the other day, I was in Argos! You don’t mix though. It’s click & collect.
You had a winner in the naps today 👏👏
That’s a worry-it looks like the current level of restrictions aren’t working.
Cheers Craig , I picked a favourite to try and stay up!
CRAIG76, dont believe a word of that ,he usually copies my picks😍 😍
Just as well he didn’t pick your nap today 😀😀
A must read. The critical questions that must be asked at the AGM.
Each one could be discussed daily here.
Has a date even been as much as mentioned for the AGM? Or perhaps a means to hold one in the first place?
CRAIG76 😍 😍
“Each one could be discussed daily here.”
Not kidding. I’ve got a related one which I’d intended to write about in this international break anyway. I’ll maybe do it for Monday.