JOHAN MJALLBY confirmed on today’s Huddle Podcast that he’d been approached by Neil Lennon to come back as a coach for the start of Neil Lennon’s second spell in charge but it ‘fizzled out’.
Neil Lennon resigned as Celtic manager on February 24th this year after spending two years in the role on an interim then permanent basis.
One major taking point about Neil Lennon’s tenure was the fact he wasn’t allowed to bring his own coaches in.
Any manager will tell you that getting your people in around you is one of the most important things but that wasn’t allowed at Celtic.
Our CEO took it upon himself to pick Neil Lennon’s staff, knowing full well the Irishman would take the job under those terms regardless.
Tommy Johnson revealed Lennon wanted him in as well which was quickly thrown aside by the hierarchy.
Speaking on the podcast, Johan said:
“He was interested to try and bring me on board but that fizzled out a wee bit which was fine.
“We don’t usually pick up the phones to chit chat.
“Unfortunately in this pandemic we’ve not been able to see each other in person.
“I think he was quite happy with his assistants.
“They had a poor season this year but he had no problem working with John the previous season.
“There was probably no other way it could have ended because it’s such a results driven business – especially when you are manager of Celtic.
“I don’t think anyone was surprised in the end.
“It’s obviously still sad as I respect him a lot as a person and especially as a manager.”
I’ve said on a few occasions, it’s why I have sympathy for Neil Lennon. Although it’s not 100% because he could have refused those terms and put his foot down.
He might not have got the job then but it led to a scenario when things were going wrong, he didn’t have any close allies beside him.
John Kennedy seems like a good guy but he was never Neil’s choice.