BRENDAN RODGERS probably missed the series of Gary Caldwell own goals – I remember being in Lisbon when he got two in the one night – but at least the Celtic manager got to experience it first hand this week when the former Celtic teammate of Neil Lennon told the BBC that the Hibs manager brings it on himself.
As far as his collection of own goals is concerned this is probably the most significant and damaging for him as a former Celtic player. No-one is likely to forget the remark.
Apparently Neil Lennon tried to speak to the newly appointed Partick Thistle manager yesterday but the former Scotland defender didn’t take his call. A poor show all round from Caldwell.
Rodgers was asked about the latest chapter in the story of Scotland’s Shame, which has seen Neil Lennon star as the target man for the vile, bigotry and racism that has an underbelly in Scottish society and now needs to be addressed.
There is a new organisation called Call It Out and they intend to do exactly that. They should be supported by us all and by Celtic Football Club too.
Yesterday after Neil Lennon’s comments about being subject to RACIST abuse since arriving in Scotland almost two decades ago, the hopelessly compromised and unfit for purpose, Show Racism the Red Card organisation said Sweet F***All.
The football authorities said nothing – SHAME on them.
The Scottish Government said nothing – SHAME on them too.
Did Celtic FC release a statement? No, why not? And as a side issue, all Celtic supporters should remember that the club have stated that they remained silent on much of the cheating and corruption that surrounded Rangers because they have a duty to their staff re safety, the senders of bombs, bullets etc effectively gagged Celtic and if you are waiting on Celtic to act on, for instance Resolution 12 then you optimism is something to behold.
Brendan Rodgers, who was yesterday named as the Manager for the Month for October, frankly, could have said more. Here’s what he did say at yesterday’s media conference.
“It’s disappointing when you see it. I look at the bigger picture of how it represents Scottish football. I don’t think it’s a true reflection of the passion up here.
“You look at these grounds and it’s very intense and hostile.
“The bigger picture is we don’t want that as a representation of the Premiership and society up here.
“The one safe environment you should have as both a player and as a manager is on the field. It’s your job. So from that aspect, it was disappointing to see.
“We all have different traits and personalities. But no matter what the personality is, or who it is, you still have to be able to work in an environment that’s safe.
“From Neil’s perspective, I’m sure it shocked him. It shouldn’t even be a question as to whether he brings it on himself.
“You get some coaches who will participate with the crowd when there’s banter coming from the stands, and it goes back and forth. That’s OK.
“But you should never be hit with a coin when you are out there at your place of work.
“You had the Hearts keeper with his situation down the other end as well.
“But I think both clubs have been unified in their statement It’s something no coach, manager or player in that workplace should have to go through.
“You had it happening with an assistant referee at Livingston recently as well. He smiled and got on with it — but that doesn’t make it right.
“It’s not the perception we want to have up here of the game, where you’re switching on and that’s what you are seeing. It’s not good, especially when there’s so much going on right now that is good.
“In the main, football here is well-manned and well-policed.
“The passion here for football is huge — but there always has to be a lid kept on it.
“Personally, I’ve never felt in jeopardy, not here or down south. I think I was nearly hit by a pie somewhere.
“But touch wood, I’ve never had anything like that. I’ve enjoyed the intensity and the hostility, you go along to games and that’s what you love.
“We’ve had some big, intense games here,” Rodgers said.
Nothing you can disagree with but could, should he have said more? Yes, he should have.
What Neil Lennon has had to endure over the years is a disgrace and Scotland should hold its head in shame. Having HANG NEIL LENNON painted on a wall in our capital city shames Scotland around the world.
Enough is enough.