On the 9 June 2010 former Parkhead favourite Neil Lennon was installed as Celtic manager on a full time basis after enjoying a successful stint as caretaker boss. In the short time since Tony Mowbray’s departure their have been vast changes for the Glasgow club. Celtic have started the current season unbeaten and there are definitely signs that the team has come along way since they struggled to find any decent form under previous manager Mowbray. With this in mind I’d like to point out 5 things we have learnt about Celtic this term.
‘Lenny’ as he is affectionately known, has surprised many in his managerial style. Once the fiery bleach blonde haired defensive midfielder, the Northern Irish man has proven himself to be a calm and calculated individual. In press interviews ‘Lenny’ comes across softly spoken and someone that exudes thought and passion. Much different from the man that used to rile up the rangers fans during every Old Firm derby and every appearance for the Northern Irish national team. ‘Lenny’s’ support for the club is widely known but his composed style during press conferences and enthusiastic touchline manner is very reminiscent of another Northern Irish man that once stood at the helm of this very fine club.
A Case for the defence.
Although unbeaten this current term, uncertainty still surrounds the Celtic defence. With the acquisition of Cha Du-Ri and Emilio Izaguirre, the full back positions seem sound as they both add an attacking dimension yet not forgetting their primary duty, defending. It’s not possible to speak with the same confidence about the two men that make up the centre back pairing. It would seem the nervy partnership of Daniel Majstorovic and Glenn Loovens still needs some work on
Scottish Football Down but Not Out.
Last summer saw the coming and goings of many personnel especially for the green half of Glasgow. The summers transfers proved that both sides of the Old Firm could still attract reasonably big names from south of the border and Europe. Rangers acquired Nicola Jelavic from Rapid Vienna and Celtic signed Joe Ledley, Emilio Izaguirre and Efrain Juarez all who had been hotly tipped to join teams in the premier league.
Last season it seemed that many Celtic fans had forgotten what it was to support a club such as Celtic. After a string of poor results many fans decided against attending Celtic Park to support their team. This came as a huge surprise to many, the attendance dropped from 60,000 to an average of 38,000. Celtic Park hadn’t been so empty since the club faced bankruptcy in 1994. Nevertheless with the resurgence of team’s fortunes on the pitch the fans have flocked back to Celtic Park to back their team’s title challenge. We’ve learnt that although the fans patience may near on run out, it is never that long before 60,000 fans fill Celtic Park and contribute to that party atmosphere that we’re so familiar with.
The Litmus Test.
One thing we haven’t learnt though is whether ‘Lenny’ can establish Celtic as Scotland’s premier team. On Sunday Celtic will host bitter rivals Rangers. With Rangers enjoying a great start to the season we will soon find out whether Celtic can match them and take massive strides towards lifting the league trophy at the end of the season. If ‘Lenny’ can mastermind a victory on Sunday it would see Rangers drop their first points of the season domestically, it would also mentally stand Celtic in great stead for the rest of the season. If the result isn’t the right then serious questions have to be asked whether Celtic have moved forward since the reign of Mowbray.
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