Under Martin O’Neill they were committed, trusted team-mates but in the pundit game Chris Sutton and Neil Lennon are far from united.
For almost a decade Sutton has been dishing out opinions with complete conviction with no-one spared, not even Lennon.
Season 20/21 will probably never be completely understood or explained by Celtic fans with Lennon throwing away every advantage and incentive possible. A 25 point deficit at the end of the season properly reflected Celtic’s form accompanied by early exits in both cup competitions and embarrassment in Europe.
In a variety of media interviews Lennon has refused to accept any responsibility- everything seemed to conspire from outside to undermine his work.
With no offer of a return to management the former Celtic boss has taken on media work, on Thursday night he was back to the scene of the crime where he was dishing out his thoughts on Ange Postecoglou’s start to life at Celtic.
It was a poisoned handover for the Australian, the outcome of six badly managed transfer windows that left Lennon’s successor with his work cut out after a 106 days search to find Postecoglou.
Many Celtic fans were uncomfortable or angry watching Lennon dissect a 4-0 defeat from Bayer Leverkusen with one of his former team-mates highlighting that issue.
Picking up on his comments on BT Sport on Friday night, the Daily Record reports Sutton saying:
Neil Lennon calling them kamikaze last night, I understand the criticism and we’re here to analyse the style of play. But a lot of this mess was on Neil, and that’s just the way it was.
It’s like somebody dumping a big lorryload of horse manure on your front garden, moving out next door and then complaining about the smell.
The bottom line is, this guy needs time. In a year, if Celtic are getting pumped in Europe with kamikaze defending then it’s going to be an issue. At this moment in time, Ange Postecoglou needs backing.
Sutton seems firmly on the Ange Bus but results will need to pick up sharply if the new Celtic boss is to retain the backing and patience of the fans that watched Postecoglou’s system taken apart on Thursday night.