Brendan Rodgers left Celtic in a lurch midway through the season and up stepped Neil Lennon to fill his void in February. The new Celtic manager had a tough run to begin with as he had three tough fixtures; Hearts and Hibernian away and Aberdeen at home.
Many thought that poor results could bring Rangers back into the title race, but Lennon guided his team to four points in the games against Hearts and Aberdeen to keep Celtic’s lead of 8 points intact on the top of the table. Celtic also managed a win against the Hibs in the cup fixture to make it a near perfect start for the new Celtic manager.
The consensus was mixed when Lennon was appointed as an interim manager. However, it might be the case that fans who didn’t want him were just frustrated after losing Rodgers midway through the season. Lennon knows the club inside out, and there could have been no better option to take over at the club at such short notice. Celtic board also probably did the right thing by announcing him only as an interim boss for the time being until the end of the season.
Former Arsenal and Celtic striker recently wrote a column in the Evening Times where he indicated that Lennon is very likely to get the permanent job in the summer. He had written, “I thought it was interesting to hear him say that he had been involved in discussions with Peter Lawwell and Lee Congerton with regards to identifying summer signing targets. And that itself seems to point to a long-term appointment. In any case, I think that it makes sense.”
Lennon confirmed to the Daily Record last week that he has been talking with the recruitment team for coming up with a plan for the summer. Hartson is correct in saying that it is a big giveaway that the Hoops are seeing him as a long term option now. One can even say that Lennon delivered much better results in Europe with Celtic than Rodgers ever managed. If he goes on to achieve the ‘treble treble’, Rodgers’ loss will soon be forgotten.
To be fair, this was always going to be on the cards, and one can more or less guarantee that Lennon will be at the club beyond this season. The club will need to step up in the summer transfer window next to prepare for the 9th in a row charge.
With quite a few players expected to leave and some heavyweight clubs looking to lure away Celtic’s talents, it is good to hear that the manager has already started devising plans for the upcoming window to tackle such problems.