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I will summarize the stats later today but want to address the Celtic "macro" first, as it is far more important than yesterday's game, CL, or even 10iar. The long term state of the club is now very fragile, as the risks I have been describing are now being unleashed.
This is a huge problem. As I stated on @celticrumours risks grow over time and then are typically realized fast. The last decade resulted in massive risks building due to the march to 10iar in a league that had no viable competition for most of that time.
The club has been hallowed out and doubling/tripling down on bad ideas has created a spiraling effect. Rodgers was given dictatorial powers, and while a tremendous coach, he was/is a terrible recruiter and of questionable character- not ideal type to give absolute power.
He did some modernization, but much of it walked out the door when he left. The club reverted to type by hiring Neil Lennon- with conditions. It seemed he was hired with the requirements that he inherent Kennedy and Duff rather than bring his own staff.
I had hope these "guardrails" could help an old dog learn new tricks. I stated on August 10th that the late subs vs Kilmarnock was hopefully a sign that Lennon would step back from the abyss, but that it would take courage. Sadly, he jumped yesterday and the signs were obvious.
In baseball the rule is 3 strikes and you are out. The obvious 3 strikes for Lennon are Cluj/Copenhagen/Ferencvaros. I think those would be forgivable if within the context of a sound infrastructure and strategic direction. I have 3 other strikes which are far more concerning.
I was disgusted last week by the nearly universal apathy with regards to Kieran Tierney's appearance on Open Goal Football Show podcast. This was a young man who was literally born and raised Celtic, and the club took that loyalty and duty of care and incinerated it.
Under Rodgers and Lennon, for a period of many months, Tierney was injected and given pain pills to keep playing, to the point where so much damage was done, his 21 year old body required 18 months to heal. He described a call with his Captain, where basically he was told to...
suck it up to play that day, despite his inability to get out of bed. This was such a gross display of poor judgment, I would fire everyone involved if I were CEO- assuming he wasn't complicit. The immorality of how Tierney was treated is horrific, and the stupidity from a....
business perspective colossal. Lennon wasn't fully responsible, but he was obviously complicit. Anyone want to guess whether Edouard was approached about taking an injection to play yesterday? I am not puritanical, and doing something as a 1 of for a huge game is one thing.
But Tierney was abused for months. His recounting of his story reminded me of this scene from Varsity Blues, only none of our players seemingly defended Tierney, and our Captain encouraged the abuse. Strike 1- and a BIG one, IMO.
Strike 2 was a report from Kieran Devlin on Monday's The Agenda show on The Cynic Patreon podcast, where he relayed that multiple current Celtic players had told him the coaching at Celtic was at a level where they decided to hire their own coaches to help their development.
Strike 3 was the months long analytics case I have been sharing as to how Lennon was mishandling the squad and tactics in ways which are basic in the modern era. My seeming "fatwah" was never about Brown, it has always been about what his usage has represented.
Archaic ideas reinforcing much of the supporters' belief in what is the equivalent of Santa Claus. I did my usual post-game routine of reading Twitter and listening to various fan-based podcast reactions. Anger was understandably raw and genuine. Some called for sacking Lennon.
Lennon must be sacked ASAP if a possible course correction is to begin, but it is now a necessary evil which does not come without risks. The same people who gave Rodgers all that power, hired Lennon, and oversaw the abuse of Tierney, would presumably decided on "what next."
There will be heightened pressure and chaos, which can lead to even worse decision making. I could see something as Neanderthal as trying to draft/bring back Martin O'Neill to "save the 10." I think John Kennedy should be named as caretaker for the remainder of the season.
And an internal investigation into how Tierney was treated should be launched. Kennedy appears smart and switched on enough that he could address many of the low hanging fruit without the burden of Lennon's involvement, and give the team a better shot at winning the league.
However, the ship has sailed on 10iar being a likely conclusion. Massive squad upheaval is a near certainty- perhaps 1 or 2 could be persuaded to stay if Lennon is sacked, but much of the damage may have been done. I have been saying it for months to great mockery-
Rangers have been better managed and embracing modern analytics more so than Celtic. Keeping Lennon would be a potentially catastrophic decision given the legitimate title challenge. This is all why addressing knowable risks is so important and why I've devoted so much time
and energy to this over the past year. The relatively easy solutions are likely gone. Now more than ever requires sound leadership and wise decision making if the long term success of the club is to be sustained. Course correction will be much harder but still required. End.
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