“Celtic are in a hugely dangerous position,” says sacked Sky Sports pundit

Another frustrating result for Celtic and then the inevitable annoying newspaper column from Charlie Nicholas inevitably follows. Writing in his Express column the former Sky Sports pundit reckons that Celtic are in danger of shooting themselves in the foot in the pursuit of Ten-in-a-Row.

H may well be right on this one but it’s the former Celtic player’s gloating that gets everyone’s backs up. Nicholas really is a dislikable character.

“The biggest threat to Celtic ‘s charge for Ten In A Row is themselves, he noted as reported by Reach owned Daily Record/Daily Express.

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“They are on the edge. It is not so much a case of worrying about the challenge of (the)Rangers, but more about their own form. They need to sort themselves out before they even consider what is happening across the other side of the city.

“Celtic are in a hugely dangerous position. Celtic are in the midst of a run of games in which they are vulnerable and look stretched to the limit.They are on shaky ground.

“Lennon was brought back to the helm because the club knew their squad was the strongest in the country and he would guide them to success.

“The manager insists there is no panic but if they lose to Lille in the Europa League on Thursday and get knocked out of the Scottish Cup – killing their hopes of a fourth successive treble in the process – then it would transform the whole outlook of the season.

“That would put things under serious review, and I’m not referring to Lennon’s job. I mean, who is the manager going to trust in terms of his players and the formation he deploys?

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“There is a long way to go in the title race. This is not the time to hit the panic button, but Lennon has a lot of pressure on him because there are five or six players in his starting line-up who aren’t doing the business.

“The onus was on Celtic to make themselves stronger over the summer and to be able to adapt to a 3-5-2 or 4-4-2, or any other formation. Lennon seems to prefer a back three but he has brought in players who don’t necessarily perform best in that formation.

“Shane Duffy is one of them. He looks lost in a back three. This was a guy who was signed as a big, physical presence who would bully strikers. However, Celtic don’t need a bullying centre-half – they need a ball-playing one.”

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Maybe there’s not too much to disagree with Nicholas on all of that on this occasion but there’s nothing there that Neil Lennon – the current Scottish Premiership Manager of the Month – doesn’t know already.

Celtic may well lose in Lille, it’s a tough away European fixture and they are in good form in the league and won 4-1 away in Prague last week when Celtic were losing to AC Milan. The Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen on Sunday becomes even more significant if the French league leaders win on Thursday, meaning that it would be three defeats and one draw from four games.

Celtic need a win badly but the last person Neil Lennon needs to take advice from is Charlie Nicholas.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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