The man who deserted Celtic a couple of years ago has now given his take on Neil Lennon and his future at the club.
If you were Neil Lennon and feeling the pressure at Celtic after an uncertain start to the season and some poor performances and results, would an endorsement by Brendan Rogers be a welcome relief in amongst all the bad reviews? Or the last thing you need right now, coming from the former manager who walked away from the club in the middle of the season and became a controversial figure among Hoops fans?
Let’s face it, Lennon has plenty of critics right now. The performances in general have been poor, some results like Thursday’s have been awful and some fans don’t want him to carry on much longer at the club. On the other hand, when it comes to persona non grata amongst Hoops fans, there is no contest when Brendan Rodgers is around.
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Lennon stepped in as interim boss at Celtic and faced a difficult start with the situation left behind by Rodgers who had deserted the club for Leicester City. And while he faces challenges and critics, few will be as fierce as any that would reach the former manager if he returned anywhere near Parkhead in the near future.
That begs the question of how much notice or even respect Rodgers’ thoughts will get from the Celtic fans on any topic. And in particular if he is speaking about the Hoops, Lennon and the managerial hot seat he deserted not too long ago.
The Daily Record have reported on his views from his conversation with Sky Sports:
“Celtic is a unique job, with a unique pressure where not too many clubs in world football have the expectancies to win every single game.
“I think that Neil going in there, he’s done a fantastic job since he has been in, the players have been amazing over a long, long period of time. They are proven winners and any time they have ever had a setback, they’ve always come back strongly.
“I only know too well, you lose a game, of course, it can be a disaster but it’s still very early on in the season.
“Neil and the guys will be disappointed with the result but I’ve got absolutely no doubt, they have been on this path before and like I say, it’s a very, very long season ahead.
“There are players to come back and I think they will go on and have a really successful season.”
Plenty of backing there from Rodgers but what else could he be expected to say? Even if he had said Lennon was on the edge, it’s likely the most ardent fans sharing that view wouldn’t care about what he thinks or says. And those who are still backing the manager, won’t care much either.
It’s likely that Rodgers’ optimal position is to keep quiet and get on with the job he so keenly wanted, at Leicester City and keep out of the one he didn’t want any more.