Neil Lennon has reiterated his belief that Celtic’s embarrassing season last year was a result of the pandemic limiting social interaction for his players and not playing in front of fans. The Irishman has been working as a pundit for the BBC since leaving the club at the beginning of the year and was asked this morning if the players were playing for Ange after not playing for him but Lennon dismissed this, instead offering the alternative that the pandemic was the catalyst for the poor season.
Ange has won five games in a row and there is a positivity around the club that was missing since last year. Lennon did, however, leave a remark in about some players wanting to leave and that they were not featuring under Ange leaving us to speculate as to who they are.
🗣️’It wasn’t for lack of trying…We were in the midst of a pandemic and I think it affected the players’
Neil Lennon on Celtic player’s rapid improvement compared to last season
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— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) August 21, 2021
There will be some truth to Lennon’s comments but the real issue is that Lennon’s teams had no real structure to them. Fraser Forster came up trumps for Lennon the season before with wins against Lazio and Rangers in the League Cup sticking out as Celtic’s defence crumbled at times. He will look back in rose-tinted glasses but the reality was that his time was up and the club needed to move on.
Some supporters may still feel a bit aggrieved at Lennon voicing his opinion on his successor given the horrific display last season. With that said, Lennon won ten titles with Celtic, eight Scottish Cups and three league cups in two spells as manager and as a player. He will always be a Celtic legend but it was clear that his time as manager was up. Lennon will be recognised for all that he has done for the club but it may take some time as this season has been incredibly tough for everyone involved.