Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon has given his latest verdict over Ange Postecoglou and Celtic after the club’s exit from the 2nd round of Champions League qualifying last week.
As quoted by the Daily Record, speaking on Radio Five Live, the Northern Irishman believes that Wednesday night’s game came too early for Ange Postecoglou and his squad and stated that the pursuit of Eddie Howe has held the club back.
“I don’t think they were ready,” he said. “Looking at the back four, they were very young in terms of the players they had at their disposal, so I think Ange needs time.
“I don’t think you can judge him until the end of the transfer window, and hopefully, there will be a few players in that he would like in the positions he wants.”
And when asked if that saga could have set the club back, Lennon said: “Possibly. They would have had a backup plan if that eventuality occurred. It’s a slow process.
“Deals are difficult to do, particularly at the minute. There’s not a lot of business being done; markets are quiet.
“There are players who have made it clear who want to go. One has already gone in Kris Ajer; the club did good business there.
“They brought a Swedish centre half in. You’ve got James Forrest coming back in; Christopher Jullien hopefully won’t be far away, so all of a sudden, you get a few big players back into the squad which were missing.
“I really don’t know how financially strong the club are, but they’re not in dire need or anything like that.
“Whether they threw all their eggs in one basket with Eddie Howe, I can’t answer. I doubt it very much, but they’ll have had a contingency plan.
“There’s very smart people at the club, and they’ve been so successful over the past decade. They took a sore one last year, and they start with a blank canvas and look to rebuild again.”
From months ago, in the later stages of last season, many fans saw this sort of thing coming.
Going into the game, we were extremely underprepared in several areas of the pitch – in particular along the backline.
Many of these problems go back to last season, though, and the hesitation over key decisions that should and could have been made earlier.
Going into the league season, it is far from the ideal start going out in the early rounds of the Champions League once again. Now though, it is time for people within the club to back Ange properly and give him what he needs to compete.