Fri. Nov 22nd, 2019

Celtic Now And Forever

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Lennon’s Close Friend Reveals What The New Celtic Manager Has Planned, And He Speaks Sense.

2 min read


Celtic completed a third successive domestic treble under Lennon’s interim charge with Scottish Cup success over Hearts last weekend.

The Celtic board swiftly offered Lennon the job full time and the Northern Irishman is expected to accept the offer for a second crack at managing the Glasgow outfit.

Much of Celtic’s recent success has come with a welcome bonus courtesy of Rodgers’s expansive style exciting fans.

But Lennon’s former team-mate Bobby Petta told the Scotsman that style was losing its effectiveness and moving towards a new gameplay is the way forward.

Lennon intends to make the Bhoys a far more direct outfit and take inspiration from Martin O’Neill’s spell in charge of Celtic.

O’Neill, now in charge of Nottingham Forest, won seven honours at Parkhead with Lennon a midfield regular and played with a conventional two-pronged attack.

Lennon plans to do likewise, but acknowledges he doesn’t have the players to do so which makes this summer’s transfer window pivotal if he is to deliver a ninth straight league title.

But Petta anticipates his old team-mate will quickly get his message across and utilise Rodgers’s philosophy sporadically, instead looking to use a physical and dominating front man.

“I expect Neil’s team to move the ball forward a bit quicker next season,” he said.

“For the first 18 months under Brendan Rodgers, the team was finally playing with a style the people loved and they were cutting through opponents like a knife through butter.

“But then that became a bit predictable and the other teams worked out how Celtic were going to play and they made it harder for them.

“They would sit off the play and, as a result, there was too much short passing sideways and back.

“I can understand why Neil might stick with that style in European ties but, in domestic games, there’s not the same need for goalkeepers to be trying to build the play from the final third of the pitch.

“Look at last season’s Champions League [qualifying] tie against AEK Athens at Parkhead. We went 1-0 up early on but then we couldn’t get out of our own half when we should have been moving the ball quicker and occasionally going long.

“I’ve spoken to Lenny and that’s what he wants to do but he needs the right personnel. You need a target man who’s strong and has a big presence.

“We used to play it up to Chris Sutton but Odsonne Edouard, although he’s a very good striker, isn’t that type. Celtic need a focal point.”

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