When The Going Gets Tough,,,
Tonight brings us the fourth round of ties in our Europa League group stage. Normally at this time,we would be mentally be grappling with the permutations-an away draw and we are still in with a shout of second place,a win and we could go on to top the group. You know,that kind of thing. Well,those days are gone. At least for this year. In fact,so bad have we been that we are past the point even of playing for pride. We are probably at the stage of playing for the type of surprise result that the Faroes sprung against Austria thirty years ago-aye,THAT is how much of a surprise to everyone that a good result for us in Europe would be.
As everyone knows,failure is an orphan,and there has certainly been a number of likely candidates for the paternity of this particular one. As always,no-one is putting their hands up,but a few of the likelier candidates seem to have been getting their alibis in by proxy recently. It is rare these days to click onto the sports section of the SMSM without some insider/former Celt/media hack telling us that we shouldn’t be signing players who flopped recently in England-eh,did you watch Fraser Forster last season,Jackie? Or that we are just as bad as the huns with our sense of entitlement-aye,Leckie. That’ll be you who has criticised the SFA for years over Scotland’s repeated failure to qualify for various Finals stages? Or the likes of Simon Ferry telling us all about Neil Lennon’s training techniques. That’ll be the same fella who left Celtic in 2009,the year before NL was appointed manager.
I won’t even mention the Martin O’Neill interview,except to say that when the SMSM are hunting for pro-NL articles then it is time for us to admit that they smell blood,that they are keen for the casualty-for the first time!-NOT to be Neil Lennon. At least,not now
When your enemies are lining up to tell everyone what a wonderful job you are doing,it is time to wonder why that might be and to accept that actually the opposite MUST be true. That in fact there is no support from them,only laughter and contempt. And that as ever,the only people whose opinions matter are those of people who matter in the first place.
Now,I’m not going to suggest that this site or any of the numerous Celtic sites out there reflect the opinion of the Celtic support at large. My articles only reflect my own opinions,as your comments only reflect yours. Sure,they might be based on (cyber) conversations with other fans,but that is hardly a cross-section of the support. Although I have to say that I have not had a single call,text or mail insisting that Neil should stay in place,that they believe he can turn it round. Even if we would all LOVE him to be the man who leads us to ten in a row,no-one can now see that happening.
I’m not even going to suggest that The Green Brigade reflect the opinion of the Celtic support at large. But their demonstration outside the ground the other day with a banner telling NL that it is time up will surely have hurt. It may even have driven the point home. However,all of this is noise when the only people who can make the decision that so many of us think is unavoidable,inevitable and absolutely necessary refuse to move on it.
Neil Lennon was brought in as an interim manager for THREE MONTHS and was not allowed to bring any of his longstanding backroom staff with him. That may have been fine,at a push,for an interim manager-it provided some continuity in the coaching staff-but it was clearly not fine in the long term once he had been appointed full time. It is virtually unheard of in the modern game that a newly appointed manager cannot bring in his own team,people who know how to project his ideas on the training ground or in the scouting department while leaving the bigger picture to him-and all the time being trusted and able to tell him when he is wrong! Who does NL have? It strikes me that he is isolated with no-one at the club to turn to for advice,no-one that he can trust to convey what he wants done. Even if,sometimes,he has been the architect of his own downfall by steadfastly refusing to move with the times-and I’m talking here about his refusal to use the technology available to him which is used at every level of the game elsewhere. (Come to that,why isn’t someone employed at the club to oversee that for him?)
So,no. I don’t think that the situation is retrievable as it stands. But remember my orphan comment at the top of this piece? There are a couple of others in the frame for it too. And while Neil Lennon has been getting on with his job,I have to suggest that the two in question simply have not. Despot Desmond has a controlling interest in the club-one which I may add has been paid back over the years via his preference dividends,etc-and has said nothing. His puppet in the boardroom,albeit an all-powerful one at that level,has also been conspicuous by his silence. It’s as if they don’t want to be bothered by mere footballing matters as they have more important things on their plate.
Well,gentlemen. I’ll give you two footballing matters that might concentrate your minds wonderfully. If Celtic don’t win the title this season,he won’t be castigated by the wider support for costing us our record.
And do you want to know what’s worse? You won’t be the guys remembered as the gombeens who cost us The Ten. You will be remembered as the men who handed them the authentication of the continuity myth,and a 55th title. You know the price of everything,the value of nothing,but you will shortly discover the cost of thirty pieces of silver.
Above article by BMCUWP