Martin O’Neill delivers unexpected Celtic admission

Martin O’Neill is without doubt one of the greatest managers in the history of Celtic. And as Ange Postecoglou rebuilds this team after a terrible season, we are reminded of the sensational job that the Northern Irishman had done at the turn of the century at Parkhead, taking a side that had finished 21 points behind Rangers to a domestic treble in his first season in charge.

Even Postecoglou will not be able to emulate that, having lost the Scottish Cup semi-final against the Rangers in disappointing fashion and there is still work to be done in the Premiership as well.

Incidentally, it was one of the players that O’Neill brought to Celtic, under whose management the Hoops had collapsed in their quest to complete 10IAR – Neil Lennon.

Recently, Lennon came out with comments in the media, claiming how he had been betrayed by some of his former teammates last season as the Hoops struggled with him in the managerial hot seat. And O’Neill seems to have backed the player who he managed at both Leicester City and Celtic. As reported by Glasgow Times, the former Republic of Ireland national manager told PLZ Soccer:

“I mentioned to a couple of the players about that.

“I know everybody has to make a living in this life after football or if you happen to still be involved in the punditry aspect or whatever the case may be.

“But that can be very hurtful indeed, particularly people you know you’ve sat in the dressing room, cajoled and encouraged.

“You’ve been encouraged by these people as well and don’t get me wrong, Neil Lennon was a big leader, he might not have been captain too often in my time at Leicester or Celtic, but he was essentially captain in everything but the word.

“He was a big leader in the team so that’s really disappointing.”

Former Celtic manager O’Neill backs Lennon

The thing about this is, it was very difficult to gloss over how badly Celtic performed in Lennon’s last season in charge of the club.

There was nothing positive to draw out from the season as the club finished trophyless and 25 points behind the Rangers in the Premiership. What was even more disappointing is the fact that 10IAR was on the line and Celtic completely blew that chance as well.

Lennon would step down from his role as manager in February but by that point of time, it was pretty clear that Celtic were not going to catch up with the Rangers.

Thus, it is hard to see how those in pundit roles in the media could have done anything other than criticise Lennon based on the performances that Celtic put in last season.