Celtic Should Replace Neil Lennon Now

Neil Lennon has decided that he can’t continue as Celtic manager with the club announcing early today that he had resigned with immediate effect (Source BBC Sport).

He leaves with The Hoops sitting second place in the Scottish Premiership but a full eighteen points behind leaders Rangers. It’s now possible for the Ibrox side to wrap up the title at Celtic’s own ground in March.

Celtic also capitulated in both the Champions League and the Europa League earlier in the season, while also losing out to Ross County in the League Cup.

All of this alongside pretty poor communication from the board have lead to fan protests.

We can’t be at all surprised to see Lennon leaving, although I still thought he’d try to holdout until the end of this current campaign.

The Celtic statement has gone on to state that assistant John Kennedy will takeover as interim boss.

I’m of the belief that Celtic can’t hold out until the end of the season without appointing a new permanent gaffer.

To be honest, the Glasgow east end club should have a new footballing structure that includes a new manager, sporting director and head of recruitment in before the start of the next term.

Now the Celtic board might say that they don’t want to rush into any decisions. That would be fair enough if there was ever a possibility of Neil staying in the job beyond the summer but as I’ve already stated we’ve all known his time was coming to an end and we’ve all pretty much known this before the festive period of 2020.

It’s already been announced that Chief Executive Peter Lawwell is standing down in the summer and he’ll be replaced by Dominic McKay (Via Daily Record). This announcement shows us that the Celtic hierarchy can act swiftly when called upon.

If the board don’t have a list of candidates drawn up by now then they’re neglecting their duties, in my opinion, although given how Lennon got the job we can’t be too surprised if they haven’t.

Most of Europe’s big teams have replacements sounded out beforehand just look at Jose Mourinho to Tottenham Hotspur and Thomas Tuchel to Chelsea as recent examples.

Some might say that this season is finished, so what’s the point in getting the new guy in now?

Well just look at when Celtic lost former boss Brendan Rodgers during the 2018/19 season. Leicester City wanted Rodgers in early to assess their squad and get ready for the next season. That gave their new manager time to work with those that he knew were staying, get a style sorted and they were up and running for that following August.

Rodgers has since stated how important those extra few months were for him at Leicester:

“I was able to come into Leicester and assess players while they were under pressure because that’s when you can really make judgements. I felt it would give me those last 10 or 11 games of the season to assess what Leicester had and what needed to be done.”

“It gave me the time to prepare for the summer so that we were ready to make a challenge at the start of this season.”

Via Daily Record

With some some very good coaches out there in need of a job, surely Celtic have earmarked a preferred candidate?

European qualifiers will be coming thick and fast in the summer, Celtic’s squad will need to be revamped big time during that same period and the fans need a lift if they’re going to be enticed to give up more money on season tickets.

It makes no sense for Celtic not to have thought all this through and have a plan ready to roll out now. Anything else would be folly!

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