How much longer can Neil Lennon go on as Celtic manager before he has to say ‘enough is enough’ and walk away from the job?
Last night’s attempted attack on him at Hearts was just the latest in a long line of incidents that will surely force him to have a long hard think over the summer whether he really wants to carry on like this.
He got death threats when he played for Northern Ireland, he was assaulted in or around a glasgow restaurant in 2008, he has had god knows how many bullets sent through the post this season, the parcel bombs as well, he and his family are under 24 hour protection and now this.
How anyone can be expected to work in an enviroment like that is beyond me and I have to say I admire and respect Lennon for the guts he has shown in carrying on as Celtic boss.
All that he has had to endure this season and throughout his career is a total disgrace. It is totally unacceptable and any person that doesn’t see a problem with it clearly isn’t a real football fan.
I heard a report – I don’t know how accurate it is – that a lot of Hearts fans cheered when they seen the man attempt to attack Lennon. If this is true, then I really hope it was a cheer because the fans thought it was just a comedian doing a drunken Benny Hill impression.
On the other hand if the Hearts fans where cheering an attempted assault on Lennon, then that is disgraceful and makes you wonder what kind of idiots are attaching themselves to football these days.
I was an admirer of Lennon as a player. My club, Coventry City, tried to sign him from Crewe and I remember being very disappointed when he turned us down and instead joined Leicester. Why would you turn down Ron Atkinson and sign for Martin O’Neill? He must have been mad.
I do though think it is fair to say that Lennon is an inexperienced manager and it has shown at times this season.
I thought the sight of him squaring up to one of the officials at Tannadice last October was totally unacceptable and someone at Celtic should have told him it wasn’t in keeping with the behaviour expected from the manager of such a prestigious club.
He didn’t help himself by getting involved with Ally McCoist and then cupping his ears to the Rangers fans a few weeks back. He also didn’t do himself any favours with his remarks about the Hearts players not trying against Rangers last weekend.
Would a more experienced manager have allowed himself to get involved in these incidents? Probably not. But then again how many managers are working under the extreme conditions than Lennon currently is? None. Maybe the pressure is contributing to making these misjudgements.
I’m not saying Lennon has asked for any of this, as how can anyone ask for what’s happened to him? But I think when he sits down and thinks about it, he will surely be the first to admit that he could have been a bit smarter at times and not got himself into certain situations.
In a way I do hope that he continues in the job, as otherwise the bigots win. But for his own sake and the good of his family I wouldn’t blame him (and kind of hope he does) if he does walk away at the end of the season.