Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon has again blasted the wantaways from last season for tarnishing the club’s 10IAR bid. The Irishman left his position in February with the league all but lost to Steven Gerrard’s Rangers and Lennon has been very publicly conducting a post-mortem on what went wrong last year.
Speaking to The Sun, Lennon took aim at the players that didn’t want to be there and how their attitude managed to bring down players who were fighting for the cause, like Callum McGregor and Scott Brown. Players like Kris Ajer, Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie have been labelled as players that wanted to leave the season before last and this came to a head last year as performances began to drop off.
“We’d won nine titles in a row — four Trebles — and some players just got to the end of the road.
“You could see it pre-season, the body language, they weren’t with us. You could smell it.
“Some players were, I wouldn’t say feigning injury, but they could have played and didn’t. This eats into the dressing room.
“You’ve got great pros like Scott Brown and Callum McGregor, unbelievably successful, being dragged down by guys who don’t want to be there.”
In the wake of the defeat to Ferencvaros, Lennon told the players that they could leave if they wanted to but there were no significant departures in the wake of this loss. The transfer business was conducted by Nicky Hammond, Lennon and Peter Lawwell, the trio having now left the club with a significant rebuilding job in progress under Ange Postecoglou.
Lennon has made the comparison with Liverpool, PSG and Juventus after the reigning Champions in their respective leagues struggled in the COVID-19 football season.
“Before lockdown, we’d been rampant, we’d won at Lazio. But after three months of players going home, the environment changed. Players found it difficult to adjust.
“But Juventus didn’t win the league, PSG didn’t, Real and Barcelona didn’t, Liverpool won the league by 20 points, then lost six in a row at home. It was unprecedented and we were the same.
There will be some truth to Lennon’s comments but the real issue is that Lennon’s team had no real structure to them last season, the recent comments from Patryk Klimala about Ryan Christie playing ahead of him speaks to a larger issue at the club.The reality was that his time was up and the club needed to move on. Had circumstances not been favourable for Lennon the second time, it was unlikely that he would have been offered the job after Brendan Rodgers. Some supporters may still feel a bit aggrieved at Lennon voicing his opinion on the club given the horrific displays from last season.