Lennon: I would leave if I'm not taking the club forward

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Gary Hooper Celtic news

Neil Lennon has stated that he’ll walk away from Celtic if he feels that he’s not taking the club forward.

Lennon was frustrated and drained after the goal-less draw with Hibs that left Celtic trailing Rangers by 12 points 12 games into the season.

The promise of last season and pre-season optimism is a distant memory for the hoops support who have backed Lennon to the hilt since he took over from Tony Mowbray.

Asked about his own position Lennon said: “The only way I would leave the job this season is if I decide I am not taking the club forward or I am not getting the performances that the fans merit.

“When you come in 3-0 down against Kilmarnock at half-time, or against any SPL side, you have to ask questions about myself.

“Today, I am not hugely concerned about my position, it’s more of a question of why I can’t get these players to be as consistent as last season.”

Strikers Gary Hooper and Anthony Stokes have scored just nine goals this season and took the brunt of the manager’s criticism.

Hooper was replaced by Georgios Samaras with seven minutes left to play but at no point did Celtic lay siege on the Hibs goal despite Hooper and James Forrest hitting the woodwork

Lennon said: “I thought the two of them were poor today and I need some more consistency from them.

“If they are not scoring goals they need to bring something else to the team and I thought the two of them were very flat today.”

I am really angry, they let the game drift away from them and that is not acceptable. I would like to make changes but the way the squad is stretched it is difficult to do that.

“There are a few who have been consistent like Ki and Joe Ledley but there are others at the minute who are happy to go along, riding on their backs and not really making the contribution that I want from them.

“I have to speak to them and out them, basically.

“I am not happy with some of them at the minute.

“I don’t think they are giving enough in terms of the quality of their play or effort and I will speak to them individually and tell them what I think and I am looking for a response from them.

“But you ask them questions at times and you don’t get answers.”

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  • Willie Aitkenhead says:

    God help us if Lennon thinks THIS is us going forward as a club. The guy is completely and utterly out of his depth and SHOULD never have been given the job in the first place.I called for the board to take decisive action, since which we have thrown a further SEVEN points away….what more evidence do we need.

    Why should we wait for Lennon to decide to walk away…..the very fact we have thrown THREE titles away already should be reason enough for the board to ensure we have the very best man in charge and in no way, shape or form was or is that Lennon. He has learnt little forom the debacle of Ross County and still we sit and do NOTHING. Rangers and the rest of the SPL must be laughing their socks off.

    Give the club the lift it needs and get things sorted NOW while we still have some sort of a chance.

    • Jimbhoy says:

      Ok Wullie. If Neil must go ! Who do wee replace him with?????

      • gary mc kay says:

        anyone he hasnt a clue and he has lost the dressing room! prime examples chris commons and droping zalusza for forster!

      • Thai Tim says:

        Who could replace Lennon and his rookie backroom staff?

        Martin O’Neill – Worth asking even if likely to reject offer.

        Paul Lambert – Worth asking even if likely to reject offer.

        Roy Keane – I have a feeling Roy would be a huge hit with his take no nonsense approach although a bit of a gamble. Currently unemployed.

        Steve Coppel – Four spells at Crystal Palace between 1984 and 2000 saw the Eagles reach the FA Cup final, third place in the top tier and a play-off success to secure promotion to the Premier League. Coppell’s six years at Reading were also impressive with a Division One Championship and an 8th place finish in the top flight the following season. Coppell picked up the Manager of the Year award for both campaigns and, despite relegation in 2008, still has a good reputation throughout the game. Currently unemployed.

        Phil Brown – Did a great job with Hull City. Currently unemployed.

        Alan Curbishley – Did a great job with Charlton for 15 years and strict budget contraints. Currently working as tv punter.

        Kevin Keegan – Although Keegan’s return to Newcastle was not as successful as his first when in 1995-96 they were beaten to the Premier League title on the final day, his record as a club manager is still fairly impressive with promotions to the top flight with both Fulham and Manchester City. Currently unemployed.

        I’m sure there are more!

  • Wb says:

    Lennon, and his “coaches” just aren” t up to the job, Parker was a painter and decorator!! For God”s sake, we are meant to be one of the biggest clubs in the world!!!! Can anyone see any of these coaches getting a job in the Premiership??!

    At the moment we also trail Motherwell!!! Now how many of their players could get on a Celtic team???

  • Dave Gebbie says:

    Sorry to say he has hit the wall when it comes to motivation or strategic planning..He should do the correct thing by the team and the Celtic Club and resign.! He did his best, but I’m afaid it’s just no good enough.! It happens.!!

    Does not mean he is an ineffective club player, just not all that good as a STRATEGIC coach.

  • Thai Tim says:

    The board made a big mistake when they took on rookie Brady as manager. A huge mistake! Did they learn? No, they took on another rookie, this time Barnes.

    Another huge mistake. Did they learn? No, they took on another rookie Lennon. Another huge mistake.

    Anyone notice a pattern here? Now for the last time, Martin O’Neill is waiting for a phone call…

    • Jimbhoy says:

      Waken Up ! There is no chance MON would come back to work under the current board constraints. It was a large contributing factor to him leaving in the first place.I’m confident it was for WGS as well.

      What manager worth his salt would be interested ? Even ghuys with a strong affiliation/ soft spot for the club are not interested, we have heard them saying it repeatedly.

      From what i see the major problem that Neil has is being undermined by the board. Meaning i think a few such as Ki, kayal, Hooper etc came to the club on a promise we were building something positive (as well as promises of much improved wages etc). The manager has pinpointed where we fall short n what we need, the board didn’t respond.

      This i believe has left a number of them with a disrespect and a general malaise where the club as a whole is concerned. Compound to this the realisation that they play in a sham set up league where they get next to no protection from ref’s and get the shit kicked out of them with impunity on a weekly basis. Look at Hooper, has he been the same player since the boogy-man done him at the tail end of last year? i think not. Why would they risk their careers for this spurious set up they find themselves involved in?

      It really saddens me to see this disinterest from the players. This is the one area i thought Neil would excel in. Not just because he’s a Tim blah blah, but because of the the man we knew him to be, 110%, intelligent, a natural leader and working under the wings of guys like Mon all his days. I genuinely believed the man management is the part he would get right.

      These observations to me strongly suggest that our issues run way to deep for any manager to rectify as a lot of it is out his hands. I really feel that even MON or whoever would be out their depth in our current set up.

      You are and shall always remain a legend to me, Neil Francis Lennon.

  • Thai Tim says:

    Last week he was blaming our defence. Now he’s blaming our attack. In the build up to the Hibs game he was talking to the press as if the team had turned the corner.

    He even said he ENJOYED the challenge when the results were bad. Sorry Neil, but the results are STILL bad. Are you STILL enjoying yourself?

  • Andy1888 says:

    @ Thai Tim. You seem to have forgotten that it was a different board who appointed Brady, also you seemed to have forgotten about O’Neill, Strachan and Mowbray all managers with experience. Its not rocket science! The players have lost faith on Lennon and some of them are just turning up but not contributing, same team virtually since last season but no fight no passion and no commitment. I like Lennon and i believe if the players produced then this team would win the league but they’re letting him down and the rest of us down. If there is a change of manager WHO would come to Celtic?

  • colin garvey says:

    we are hearing the same thing week after week about how angry blah blah blah yet there is still no winning consistency.

    Lennon says he will go if he’s not developing the team well it’s obvious he isn’t hardly a player bought in transfer window no-one coming through from reserves etc.

    Said it before this team and board need a complete shake up

  • Joe says:

    Really Neil? So when are you going?

  • Mac says:

    Lenny is Lawwell’s poodle, Lawwell’s is Desmond’s.

    What can you do without titles ?


    Stand in George Square, shouting about the government taking away your freeeedoooooom!

  • Mac says:

    Hire the worst manager in the premiership, lose the title again (take it on the chin!) Replace him with a rookie(forget about how clueless he looked after Ross County papped us out the Scottish Cup) The British Labour And Unionist Party’s Bulldog, ‘John Reid’ will spin some patter to galvanise the support “Bring Back the thunder” They’ll love it Neil, love it!.

  • Mac says:

    The huns have survived.

    Mission accomplished!

  • Lennon is out of his league and was only given the job as an interim cheerleader for the board. He is really clueless. Keeps signing players but never gives them an ample opportunity to prove themselves. We buy the best players from our competitors…they sign our cast-offs and we still struggle against them. There is ample talent at Parkhead, just need a true leader to guide them. The morale at the club must be very low, regardless of what the players are saying. A good game one day makes the team heroes and a poor effort the next and they are all villians.

  • chiefinkorea says:

    It’s tough to take. For whatever reason, NL can’t motivate this group. The team yesterday was probably the team most poeple wanted but they just aren’t working for him. Maybe his honest assessment of some has backfired. We’ve heard these comments all too often from NL, going as far back as Ross County. They are unfortunately having the same effect as Mowbray’s mantra of taking it on the chin and moving on.

    Living in Korea, I love having Koreans in the squad but for Lennon to praise Ki for his consistency seems strange and yesterday Ki was particularly poor, in my opinion. Hints at favouritism and divisions in the squad.

    Constant chopping and changing shows he has little faith in many and they are returning the compliment with really poor performances.

    Mistakes have been made by players and management but seeing as we can’t kick out a full squad in January it’s always going to be the manager who cops it.

    It’s sad. I want every Celtic manager to succeed because it means the team are succeeding but everyone is being short-changed and a bankrupt Rangers team, led by an even more inexperienced manager, are running away with the league – at least until administration. It’s only October and we are faced with the possibilty of looking for a new manager and giving him time to prepare for NEXT season.

    Sadly, being 3rd in a 2-horse race is not taking a team forward and change may be best for EVERYONE concerned.

  • john says:

    Neil Lennon’s status has diminished unbelievably since the end of last season. He must realise this and walk away while most fans still have some good memories of him.
    After everything that he has put up with it is very sad. To see him booed at Celtic Park must be music to the rest of Scotland’s ears and very depressing for Celtic Supporters. But he has/is failing and he always said he would go if that was the case. There is no way back for Celtic this season, the league is over and Neil must walk, for his own sake and the sake of the club.

    This is the most serious situation for the club since 1994. For Rangers to win 4 in a row at this time in their History will remain one of the greatest embarrassment’s in Celtic’s history. The people running the club have almost committed a crime against Celtic on par with the Kelly/Whyte dynasty.

    Within 20 years people will talk about this as one of the greatest period’s in Rangers history as when they were almost bankrupt they still managed to wipe the floor with Celtic. It is soul-destroying and Celtic have again became a laughing-stock. If the shoe was on the other foot we would be having a fioeld day with this. But when the shoe was on the other foot they were winning 9 in a row and Celtic couldn’t get in the top three.

    Supporters will vote with their feet. I can’t see more than 20,000 at the game on Thursday night and crowds will be at about 30,000 for home games over the Christmas period. Desperate. It’s back to the early 90s with car-park protests and poor attendances.

    As for his replacement. Celtic must appoint a European with a track-record in over-achieving in some of the ‘less fancied’ leagues. Some clubs appear in the Champions League every season and quite obviously have much less funds than Celtic. A complete restructuring of the management/coaching staff is needed. Top to bottom. Please lets avoid appointing another Celtic man simply because he supports the team. If that is the strategy to be taken then I will apply for the job myself and would urge every person who cares about Celtic to send in their own CVs to illustrate the riculous notion that this will somehow work out. Talent before heart, please.

    However, it will be Roy Keane/Steve Kean/Owen Coyle/Roy Aitken and David O’Leary or someone of that ilk who remembers the first time they walked into Celtic Park but will forget about their last sacking having almost relegated some minor English team. Give us a break from all of this.

  • Big Mike says:

    Lenny go now please while you are still loved by the fans. You just aint up to the job and it is getting desperate now.

  • Ruggygman says:

    at this juncture…. doogie donnelly wud do a better job…. it doesn’t matter a f*ck who is available or not…. lennon needs to go….
    i’ll get my c.v into parkhead the now…. coz i sincerely would do a better job…. what is lennon waiting for… if he has any genuine feeling for the club, surely he will do the honarble thing….

  • tyrebhoy says:

    We have gone from Just Cant Get Enough last season,
    to just cannot stand any more crap

  • seaney67 says:

    would’ve liked to have seen neil do well at the club as a fellow irish man.but as some one who loves the club its past the point of sentimentality.your time came too soon neil .take an honorable discharge while its available.of course of this will please every bigot in scotland and ireland. But if you remain it will please them more. Leave now. Give us back our pride.

  • Mike Bhoyle says:

    Forget Directors…and back-up staff…and lack of funding…and any other smoke screen you can think of….

    The bottom line is…Lenny has a group of professional footballers..all with varying degrees of skill…and he has picked a system for these players…which sucks.

    Our whole game revolves round passing….and we have a team of players who can’t, meaningfully, pass the ball…( square or back-wards 5 yard passes don’t count) this team would also lose a race against paint drying….such is the pace we play at….

    That to me is his biggest failing…we are playing rubbish football…thanks to him…and his time is up as far as I’m concerned.

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