Celtic’s last two draws with Hibernian and Livingston may not have been managed by Neil Lennon, but it’s becoming increasingly apparent that change is needed.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that majority shareholder Dermot Desmond was planning an upheaval behind the scenes, and that simply has to start with the sacking of the Irishman.
Of course, stand-in boss Gavin Strachan has led the team in their last two games but the fact of the matter is that Celtic have won just seven of their last 21 matches in all competitions.
It’s a diabolical record and something simply has to be done. Lennon has achieved a great deal with Celtic – winning the last two league titles and Scottish Cups – but his time is up. The higher-ups simply have to get rid of him.
The Bhoys are 20 points behind Rangers before the Gers play on Sunday and were dumped unceremoniously out of both the Champions League and Europa League.
Of course, Celtic have won the last nine titles, but it’s time for the hierarchy to be ruthless. However, who could replace him?
Well, former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe would be a good option. It was reported in late November that the 43-year-old’s representatives had been contacted and now is the time to put all their eggs in one basket and bring him to Glasgow.
Howe is well thought of on English shores and despite being relegated with the Cherries last term, has plenty of pedigree. He’s been tipped to manage England in the future and he was the man who initially got Bournemouth into the top-flight.
The south-coast team were in disarray when he took over, struggling in League Two. However, he took them up through the leagues and in the process of being named the EFL Manager of the Decade in 2015, reached the Premier League.
It was a story that embodied that of the video game Football Manager, but this time, it happened in real life.
His accomplishments with Bournemouth almost defy belief and if anyone can get a team out of a crisis, it’s Howe.
Though, there are other positives, particularly in terms of his coaching. Simon Ferry revealed in November that Lennon was still using similar methods on the training ground to Brendan Rodgers.
He said: “I know they still do Brendan Rodgers training, which worries me. If you’re the manager, you can’t be doing someone else’s thing, you need to do what you want to do.”
Fortunately, Howe has a very different approach to training, a method that could revive their season.
Former Bournemouth player Brett Pitman previously said: “It wouldn’t just be ‘do you want to do a session’ and a coach would be there. He [Howe] would be the one taking it, with all his staff – that is special. People might think that is a norm in football but it really isn’t. It is what makes him different.”
Meanwhile, Simon Francis, another of Howe’s ex-players once noted: “He is meticulous. He does not leave any stone unturned. And he instils that work ethic into the players. Because you know that he is buying into it.”
For Celtic, hiring someone like this would be a no-brainer. Lennon doesn’t do much coaching on the training ground so Howe’s appointment has the potential to be game-changing.
As Pitman says, he is special. Desmond simply has to bring him to Parkhead.