Neil Lennon’s comments after the 1-1 draw against St. Johnstone show us why Celtic have struggled so badly this season.
Six months ago, you would have expected these kinds of games to be ones where Celtic could rest a few players and still walk out with a comfortable victory. But when the club had to rely on a late goal from Mohamed Elyounoussi to scrap out a 1-1 draw, nobody was probably surprised with the result. That is just how bad the Hoops have been lately.
Over the last 12 games, they have managed just 2 wins while losing 6 of those games. Safe to say that the pressure is on the board to show Neil Lennon the exit door. But they have decided to stick with the manager.
And while it is only natural that most of the blame has fallen on Lennon’s shoulders, it would be wrong to not point out how bad the players have been as well. It looks like many of them have either downed their tools or just don’t have it anymore.
Thus, Lennon’s comments after the game were interesting to say the least. Speaking to PLZ Soccer, he said:
“I don’t want to pre-empt anything, I want to keep working and trying to turn it round. We need a bit of swagger back in the team that’s missing at the minute.
“Some players aren’t fit enough and that’s been the case for a long time. Some players are just not in good form. They need respite at some stage, they need some support from me.
“But again it’s a two-way thing, the players have got to play better, we’re trying everything we can to get performances right.”
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We are already in December though. It is not like these are the first few games of the season and the players will slowly gain their fitness. If the players are indeed not fit enough by this point of time then that is a massive problem and one that is not as common as Lennon makes it sound. He has to accept a lot of the blame for it.
To be very honest, it is hard to see how Lennon can turn things around. The team just looks completely out of ideas at the moment. Right now, it looks like the best solution is to bring in a new manager and hope that he can get this team firing again by bringing in new ideas with him through the door.
Lennon is without doubt a Celtic legend and deserves all the respect in the world. But you have to understand that nobody wants to be remembered as the guy who failed to secure 10IAR. The longer the board push back his sacking, the more it hurts his legacy at the club.