Neil Lennon: How it All Went Pete Tong – Apologies Given after Dingwall Disaster

Scottish Premiership, 21 February 2021 – Ross County 1-0 Celtic – It was nearing an end. John Hughes employed the very same tactic that teams used to Celtic when he was in our defence, leaving Big Yogi with the ball. To be fair to him he learned quickly and became more of a ball player as time went by. Ross County soaked up the pressure and exploited Celtic’s well known weakness at set-pieces. That was enough pushed Neil Lennon towards the exit door at Celtic.

Photo: Jeff Holmes

Afterwards Neil Lennon had this to say:

“I apologise. It wasn’t for the want of trying. The players were putting in the effort, but it wasn’t good enough.

“It encapsulates our season. It’s another poor goal from a set piece. But I think we played well tonight and did enough to win the game. The goal is inexcusable. Our defenders don’t seem to want to defend this season. We do the work on the training pitch but if the players don’t attack the ball there’s not much you can do.

“It’s been a running theme for us this season for whatever reason. It’s hugely damaging.”

(Photo by Paul Campbell/Getty Images)

David Potter’s View: Ross County’s Beautiful Sunday, Celtic? “A Disgrace”, “This was awful”, “Shambles”

And this was awful! Just what on earth was all this about, Celtic? No-one can possibly defend that performance, and it seems now that these five wins in a row were just a facade which has failed to conceal the long term malaise that is affecting our beloved club. I just hope that those responsible for this shambles are feeling one hundredth part of the hurt that the supporters are feeling.

Scott Bain, Callum McGregor, David Turnbull and Johnjoe Kenny earn pass marks. The others, I’m afraid, have a lot to answer for. Ryan Christie will inevitably be the main target for the supporters’ bile. In his defence, he was out of position. He has never been a striker. He has been a talented midfielder who occasionally scores goals, sometimes brilliant ones, but he is not a striker, and tonight he had a terrible game with some dreadful misses, one that was barely believable in the first half.

Photo: Jeff Holmes

Maybe, after all, he does need a change of career and it hurts to say that about such a talented player. And Odsonne Edouard! When are we going to grasp the nettle about that man? He can take goals, yes, but he has to be able to do so consistently, and even to look upset when he doesn’t produce the goods!

The central defenders let themselves down badly at the goal. It was simply an object lesson in how to take a goal. It is collective responsibility. It is not good enough to point the finger at one man. They all have to take responsibility. And why can’t we deliver like that and take a goal like that?

Full marks to Ross County, and I hope they save themselves from relegation. They are a decent outfit in a very civilised Scottish town and are a lesson to all the other “small” teams of Scotland who hide behind the name of “small” to excuse their own inadequacies.

Photo: Jeff Holmes

Nor can we blame the referee David Munro. That penalty we claimed for half-heartedly was as much a penalty as the one that Derek McInnes and Aberdeen got upset about the other night – it was no penalty at all!

For Celtic, there is no excuse. Celtic cyberspace for the next week will be seething, justifiably so, for it is just not good enough for Celtic to have a season like this. We felt for a spell that a corner was being turned and that some sort of respectability was being achieved but tonight has scattered that to the four winds. It is perhaps just as well we have lockdown. The A9 would have been a desolate road to drive down after a disgrace like that.

And where do we go from here? I still want there to be a Scottish Cup this season, but we really must now think about August and a fresh start with fresh faces.

David Potter

Photo: Vagelis Georgariou

24 February 2020…It’s all over for Neil Lennon as Celtic Manager…

“We have experienced a difficult season due to so many factors and, of course, it is very frustrating and disappointing that we have not been able to hit the same heights as we did previously.

“I have worked as hard as ever to try and turn things around, but unfortunately we have not managed to get the kind of run going that we have needed.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“I have always given my best to the club and have been proud to deliver silverware to the Celtic supporters. The club will always be part of me. I will always be a Celtic supporter myself and I will always want the best for Celtic.

“I would like to thank so many people at the club who have given me so much and I would also like to thank my family for their love and support.

“I wish the Celtic supporters, players, staff and directors nothing but success for the future.”

On a personal level I would like to thank Neil for everything he has given Celtic over these past twenty years. He has had incredible highs at Celtic and some hard times too. Some of the abuse he has suffered recently from his own support has been a disgrace and was never deserved.  He will know that this was a noisy minority and that his place as a Celtic legend is assured. Hail Hail Neil Lennon, Celtic Through and Through.

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who 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

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