Former Scotland midfielder Barry Ferguson believes that Neil Lennon has improved Celtic over the past year after taking over from Brendan Rodgers in the Parkhead dugout.
Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the latter’s sudden departure from the Hoops to take the vacant Leicester manager’s job, with his fellow Northern Ireland native stepping up to take the reins at Celtic for a second time, having also been in charge from 2010 to 2014.
Speaking on the PLZ Soccer podcast [via The Scottish Sun], Ferguson thinks that the Scottish champions have improved since Lennon replaced Rodgers as their manager, citing the switch to two strikers following their derby defeat in late December as a seminal moment in their evolution.
He said: “Celtic are a better team under Neil Lennon than they were with Brendan Rodgers. I think they are more attack-minded and the thing I like about them is, after the Old Firm game on the 29th, they went away and worked on a system that I think suits them as well. You get two strikers up top – [Odsonne] Edouard and [Leigh] Griffiths look a real danger together. For me, Celtic are definitely a better team under Neil Lennon.”
Ferguson’s comments about Celtic being a greater attacking force under Lennon are quite justified when looking at the statistics from the current point of this season compared to a year ago. The Hoops have already struck 82 goals in 28 Premiership games, having scored 66 at the equivalent stage of the 2018/19 campaign. As well as being much more prolific in attack, they have maintained a strong degree of defensive stability, conceding only one more league goal so far this season (17) than at the same stage last term (16).
Another area where Lennon seems to have improved Celtic is in terms of European competition. The current boss led them to top spot in their Europa League group, masterminding the club’s first competitive win in Italy along the way, and has them well placed to reach the last 16 after last week’s draw in Copenhagen. Rodgers’ Celtic exited at the last 32 in the tournament in the past two seasons, losing their away legs to Valencia and Zenit St Petersburg.
Ferguson also correctly highlights the Hoops’ magnificent form since Lennon’s tactical switch following the mid-season break. The manager had often gone with just one starting striker in 2019 but has frequently played two up top since the break, with Celtic consequently winning each of their eight league games. So far in 2020, Edouard has nine goals to his name, with Griffiths scoring five.
Therefore, it’s not difficult to see why Ferguson believes that Lennon has brought Celtic forward since filling the void left suddenly by Rodgers this time last year.
Celtic fans, do you agree with Ferguson’s belief that the Hoops are a better team under Lennon than Rodgers? Share your views in the comments section below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience