Neil Lennon has decided to put the lion’s share of the blame for Celtic’s elimination from the UEFA Champions League qualifiers on one player.
It is hard not too feel that Neil Lennon got away with one despite a disappointing elimination from the second round of the UEFA Champions League qualifiers. A couple of signings after the game and a few convincing wins on the trot for Celtic meant that the result was forgotten quickly.
Coming out of the game though, the biggest complaint was how Lennon had decided not to play a striker, instead going with Ryan Christie as a false nine. And clearly it did not pay off as the Hoops did not provide much threat going forward. Yes, they had the chances to score but not the man up top who could put the ball in the back of the net.
Obviously, most of the blame was put on the shoulders of Neil Lennon and rightfully so. The manager though believes that Boli Bolingoli is the man who was the biggest reason behind Celtic crashing out of the competition and not him.
As reported by Herald Scotland, he said:
“We missed out on two games that, one, would have maybe put us in a better position than we found ourselves in the league, and two, we would have been two games fitter.
“The players would have had two more games in their legs, and we would have been up to speed more.
“Of course it could have [assisted our Champions League campaign], it would have been a huge benefit going into those games and that’s what we had planned for.
“What happened was totally unforeseen, it could have been avoided, but to lose those two games was a massive disruption to what we were doing.
“We went into the Ferencvaros game undercooked and hadn’t played a game in 10 days.”
It looks as though that the manager has forgiven the Belgian left-back who has already left on a season-long loan:
“It’s done and he has made a mistake. He’s a human being, it’s a human error and it cost us at the time.
“It was a couple of games we are now endeavouring to make up. He has a new challenge now in his career, a loan with an option to buy.
“I never got the chance to see him, because of what’s going on. But obviously we will be keeping an eye on his progress.”
While Bolingoli’s actions did play their part as well, it is undeniable that Lennon still has to take most of the blame for not playing a striker and not bringing one on even when it became clear that things were not going their way. The club’s transfer policy also deserves some blame for not going and getting their transfers done early. It is hard to see the Hoops crashing out against Ferencvaros if Shane Duffy was already here.