Neil said it himself, too many players are not pulling their weight at the club just now. I say let’s give Neil the power to ship out a player or two that he feels are undermining him at the minute. For example, Beram Kayal doesn’t even look as if he is related to the midfield dynamo of last season. What would the squad at the club think if the likes of Kayal and Commons are shipped out for underperforming? I’m aware it can go two ways, players could see last year’s heroes leave and get the fear or they could revolt. If it does happen to be the later then I’m sure we don’t want players at the club who don’t fully appreciate what it means to play for Celtic anyway. Lennon certainly won’t. The main point I’m trying to make is let’s back Neil to do things his way, until the end of the season then he can be judged by trophies. There seems to be fundamental problems behind the scenes and I don’t think changing the manager at this point won’t save the season, giving Neil our full support just might.
What happened to the home support that turned up in style against Motherwell on the final day of the season? What a lift it would give the players if we had the same response from the fans with twenty minutes to go against Hibernian at 0-0. This problem isn’t about Rangers, it’s about Celtic and specifically Lennon finding a way to start winning football matches on a regular basis. Apart from that fateful night in Inverness Neil had Celtic playing attractive winning football last season; he’s capable of doing it again. If he steadies the back four till January and motivates the likes of Kayal and Hooper then I don’t see why we can’t return to the form of last year.
Whether you like him or not, Celtic has missed Scott Brown and the news that the captain may be leaving will have Neil worried. At least when Scott’s on the pitch he attempts to take the game to the opponents, something that was lacking against the hibees on Saturday.
As a club lets back Neil fully, This means if we do have to part ways in the summer then we can do knowing that it just wasn’t his time. This does work both ways and Neil needs to resist any temptation to quit the role. The northern Irishman will be hurting from this seasons results and I think one or two more and he will pull the trigger himself.
I’ve heard the usual strange comments that pop up every time Celtic are in trouble. Names pop up like Mark McGhee, McGhee couldn’t handle the criticism he received at Aberdeen so what makes people think he’s the man for Celtic? Money may be widening the gap between europe’s elite and the Auld Firm but the Celtic Job is still one you need to prove your credentials for. The likes of Paul Lambert and David Moyes might not want to enter the Glasgow Goldfish bowl but have we at least sounded them out? I disagree with this notion that we need to completely move away from Celtic Minded managers. A potential manager coming in doesn’t have to be a supporter but he does need to know the SPL. The greatest managers is Europe would struggle getting their team to perform if they knew nothing about the dangers of tynecastle on a winter’s night. If Celtic can attract a strong candidate come the summer then hallelujah but I think we may find that task difficult for a number of reasons.
Finally people have been complaining about Lennon’s inexperience; let me painfully remind you that Lennon would be a championship winning manager had Big Sammy scored that penalty at Ibrox. I know I know , I don’t want to jump on the Samaras bandwagon but the fact is things would have worked out differently for Neil and the Bhoys that season and I’m sure it would have put McCoist under more pressure to deliver in his first season. I think we might see a few players leave the club in January and hopefully not the ones we need to keep (a la Forrest). If Browns not going to be fit or he is leaving then we need a bit grit, someone who can show the team (apart from Jamesy Forrest) what is needed if you’re going to play for Celtic.
Neil has made mistakes this season but nothing else can be expected from a rookie manager. I just hope his failure to purchase quality at the back won’t cost him the chance to improve things going forward. There are a lot of things to be positive about this squad of players but they need results and fast. Positivity is needed more than ever at Celtic Park and a good home win against Rennes mid week could help. For now, Neil is our man. After all we’ve been through the last eighteen months we need to see it through together, then in the summer it’s time for some serious reflection.