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Neil Lennon and the Celtic managerial position...
Seven League games
Seven League goals
Three 0-0 draws
Four wins
Two wins in injury time
One win in the 87th minute vs 10 man Rangers
One straight forward win (vs St Mirren)
Two Cup games, two very good wins but both times Lennon's Celtic have had to rely on an individual piece of brilliance in the form of 25 yard screamers from James Forrest to break the deadlock
Celtic beat Hearts 2-1 at Tynecastle in injury time in Neil Lennon's Celtic return, after the way Brendan Rodgers upped and left no-one should have any problems with this result or the manner in which it arrived.
Aberdeen (h) 0-0: utterly desperate Celtic performance devoid of any ideas, they inevitably made some chances as they had the bulk of possession but Aberdeen have never been so comfortable at Celtic Park since they last won there in 2014.
Beat Dundee 1-0 at Dens in injury time, another horrid display, Edouard eventually got fed up, went hunting for the ball & essentially won the game himself, Dundee have lost 8 games on the bounce, this is by a distance the closest they came to winning a point in that sequence.
Beat Rangers (h), best 45mins under Lennon 1st half, 2nd half with a goal AND man up, Gerrard made a tactical switch & NL lost total control of game & is pegged back, good players win games tho, Tavernier mistake leads to a sequence between Celtic's 3 best players, 2-1 87th min.
Beat St Mirren 2-0 (a): after the high of a late derby win they started well & scored early, could've killed the game but Ntcham missed a 1st half penalty, 2nd half seen yet another major lull in performance (perhaps understandable after derby) took till the 85th min to clinch it
0-0 vs Livi (h): Celtic unofficially won the League in the derby, this was a shoddy end of season low tempo performance, stats will tell you Celtic had a lot of chances, in reality though they only had a few clear cut chances, Burke could've masked over the obvious in injury time
0-0 at Easter Road, after almost becoming the first Celtic team to draw two 0-0s on the bounce in the League in 10 years five weeks earlier, they somehow managed to do it within the next 4 games, they could've won it, they could've lost it but didn't do nearly enough throughout.
People may attempt to re-write history here & tell you this is a problem Lennon inherited, it isn't, the previous manager lost games & had shoddy performances but rightly or wrongly it always looked like he was trying to prove a point to the Board to highlight squad inadequacies.
Lennon is doing the polar opposite, he's picking a team he believes is his strongest XI every single time and its eye bleedingly bad for the most part, Lennon said they'll be more direct, in truth the build up play is slower but it now ends with crosses rather than intricate play
Neil Lennon didn't ride into the rescue like some will have you believe, an unemployed man's dream job became available, the biggest job he has ever had or will ever get, he seen an opportunity to get back to a place he walked away from when he overestimated his own worth.
Biggest difference since NL took over has been the three behind the striker, the movement, intricacy, brains - they were a huge reason why Celtic have been so successful, now intricacy & brain has been replaced with power & brawn, now its cross ,cross, cross, long shot, cross...
Jonny Hayes hasn't done much wrong since Lennon came in but his inclusion at the expense of Sinclair sums Lennon up in a nutshell, he'd rather try batter through a wall than work his way around it,(Sinclair on current form doesn't merit a start but he was flying until NL arrived)
The tactics have become pretty draconian pretty fast, now its just get the ball into Forrest's feet as quickly as possible and see if he can do anything with it, if not then just keep the ball before eventually working it wide and get a cross into the box.
They're the best team in the country with the most exciting attacking players in Scottish football and they've somehow become one of the easiest teams to defend against, Lennon's tactics have totally neutralised the best part of his team (or what should be the best part)
Celtic have played 630 minutes of League football since Neil Lennon's return, they've only been in front for 132 of those minutes... 75 of those winning minutes came against St Mirren.
The mere hint of criticism of Neil Lennon invokes a staunch resistance from many fans, they see it as a personal attack on a man who's suffered horrific physical & sectarian abuse since he arrived in Glasgow, this is simply about managerial ability though, & it isn't good enough.
When Lennon took over in 2010 he was measured against Tony Mowbray, now he's on the other end, measured against the man who's name can't be uttered & like it or not, that's the standard Celtic must now always aspire to, it's not NL's fault he's not at that level but he just isn't
Lennon has been a couple of injury time winners away from his second spell turning into a disaster, five times in seven games his side has went into injury time all square, I do believe he'll be the next Celtic manager & if he is then the Celtic Board are gambling with history.
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