Neil Lennon: How it All Went Pete Tong – Snow Bother for Celtic at The Tony Macaroni

Scottish Premiership 20 January 2021 – Livingston 2-2 Celtic – It might have been the snow, or the terrible defending at set-pieces, or the Celtic Want-aways, maybe it was the continuing hang-over from the Dubai fiasco – this was the first game back for the majority of the first team and the management staff who had to see isolate after that shambles. It was probably all of the above and Livingston – who rested many of their first team players with an eye on their Betfred Cup semi-final against St Mirren that weekend  – were trolling us after the result, Ross County would be doing the something similar a month later. It was horrible to watch as Neil Lennon sat there, head in hands, surrounding by piles of snow, looking like the defeated manager he was.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

Afterwards Neil Lennon had this to say:

“If the club have to make a decision then they have to make a decision. You’re asking the wrong guy about my position. I’m fed up answering it really.

“Everyone is interested in my job. You keep asking if I’m going to be here. I will be until I’m told otherwise. There have been many like (Lennon Out Brigade) that since I got the job. But we’ve won five trophies out of six. Not bad.”

David Potter’s View – Livingston Reserves 2 Celtic 2 – When can we waken up out of this nightmare?

Celtic have the look of death about them these days, do they not? After playing themselves into a winning position, they proceeded to throw it all away again, and really were very lucky not to lose at the end. Scott Brown, after so many years of being a Celtic hero, let himself down very badly when he didn’t really need to, and it did look to me like a penalty by Patryk Klimala. And all that after conceding a preventable goal to allow Livingston back in.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

To an extent, you can blame the snow, but only to an extent. I was half expecting the game to be abandoned – it wouldn’t have been the greatest surprise in the world if it had been – but the pitch was never totally dangerous, I did expect Willie Collum to call for a different coloured ball because I was finding it difficult to pick up on my telly, but no, you can’t really blame the conditions. Good players can play in any conditions.

Celtic really have to get out of this habit of conceding free kicks and then failing to deal with them. That first goal for example had stupidity written all over it – a soft free kick which immediately gave Livi an advantage when they were miles away from the goal then a free header, and static goalkeeping.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

And then we fought back with Elyounoussi’s goal which was a great example of how to score. First time! Late in the game, Klimala had a similar opportunity but decided to “take a touch” and immediately lost the initiative! Bitton was, I suppose marginally offside when he got the ball for the second goal, but he certainly took his goal well.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

For a long time Celtic were well on top, but that was the time when we needed to score again. One of the commentators said that they were passing the ball about nicely – but lacked penetration. That more or less summed it up for me. Some of the movement was impressive, and it was all played with speed and flair. But we needed to score again when we were on top. The goal never came.

Some of our players have shaded badly. Christie no longer dominates the way that he once did, Turnbull and Soro had a good December but were off the boil tonight. Greg Taylor did quite well, but we really have to give Scott Bain another chance in the goal.

And Stephen Welsh is worth another go in the centre of the defence, It is really awful to see the way that the team are playing these days. We are mediocre, and lack “game management skills”. At the very end, we won a throw in on the far side of the field. We were well into added on time, and the situation was crying out for a long throw into the box. What did we do? We plastered around with the ball and eventually lost it!

Photo: Andrew Milligan

A major effort is now required if we are going to win the Scottish Cup again. It is maybe just as well that we won’t be playing in that competition for some time. No-one knows when, and it is maybe as well that we have time to sort things out.. As for the Scottish League games which I am tempted to call “friendlies”, we still have pride. Playing for Celtic is still an honour and privilege. We cannot give up. There is still the green and white jersey to be proud of, and oh, how I hated seeing that rubbishy black strip tonight.

Never mind, it is soon going to be daylight, and I can waken up out of this nightmare!

David Potter

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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