Celtic manager Neil Lennon took it upon himself to walk away from the job he has held so dearly to his heart over the years.
The Northern Irish tactician told the club’s official website that he “worked as hard as ever” to try and turn their campaign around and that the Parkhead club will “always be part” of him.
A 1-0 defeat against bottom side Ross County last Sunday looked to have been the breaking point for Lennon, leaving his team 18 points behind arch-rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership. Assistant manager John Kennedy will be stepping in until the end of the season.
Understandably, this sparked a mass reaction from across the footballing world, including from former Rangers icon Ally McCoist, who previously described the goings-on at Celtic this season as a “PR disaster.”
The Scot joined Laura Woods on Wednesday’s talkSPORT breakfast show to give his immediate reaction to the news that Lennon had walked away from a job after winning four league titles and two Scottish Cups in two stints.
He said: “First thing I’ve got to say is I hope he can get a bit of sanity back in his life, go enjoy himself and just relax with his family for a period. That’s the one thing that I think, looking at Neil, is what he wants. That’s the most important thing. Spend a bit of quality time, relax and get away from the insane pressure that is being an Old Firm manager.
“In terms of the decision itself, not overly surprised at all. The way the season has gone for Celtic this year has effectively been one disaster after another. There’s a lot of people responsible for that. Neil obviously being the manager is one of them, people above him as well and indeed the players have got to shoulder a lot of the responsibility.”
McCoist added that the pressure of winning 10-in-a-row played a huge part in Lennon’s decision.
He continued: “It was a massive, massive year for them. You’d have to say clearly it looks as though the league has gone and the league was the big one. Everybody at Celtic wanted the magical figure of 10 for some time now. It hasn’t looked as though that’s going to be the case.
“Not from Neil, but I always felt there was an element of arrogance coming from within Celtic, it’s as if they thought it was just a formality to win 10-in-a-row, and clearly that hasn’t been the case. The supporters are very angry, and obviously, it’s cost Neil his job.
Transfer Tavern Verdict
McCoist is spot on here. Considering the season that Celtic have had, the decision is far from a shock to anyone, and you could certainly his argue his squad allowed complacency to seep in after so many successful years. Whether that ‘arrogance’ and resulting anger from the fans did truly ‘cost Neil his job’ is open for debate.
The Green Brigade have not shied away from showing their dissatisfaction towards Lennon though, organising mass protests against him and chief executive Peter Lawwell.
That said, Lennon has embedded himself into the fabric of Parkhead and will forever be remembered as a club legend.
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