Rejoice! Hallelujah! The day has finally arrived!
The news broke at 7am sharp this morning. The day, many of us had all been waiting for. Neil Lennon had handed his letter of resignation to the Celtic hierarchy, finally an end to his second tenure in charge of the club.
His two-year stint was a mixed bag, to say the least. Called upon at the club’s time of need, he obliged. A Celtic man, seen by many, if not all, as a constant noble servant to a fan base. That contrasted with how he left today, couldn’t be more startling.
It’s been well documented by now that a large section of the support sunk deep into their pints (well almost) on the day of the treble treble success, upon hearing Lennon was the man in charge going into 2019/20. For said members of our support, myself included, today is a watershed moment in the club’s movement forward.
It may all seem like we’re now living in a wondrous land now the clouds have lifted. The reality is, the clouds haven’t lifted. The hurricane may have passed but the storm clouds are on their way.
Dominic McKay doesn’t step through the door at Parkhead till July 1st, 4 months from now. That’s a long time in football. The pressure just keeps on mounting when you think of the rebuild process that has to start now. Forget who will be leading the club, we don’t even know who’ll be playing for the club. It’s probably looking like 10/30 players at the club are pinpointed in as players for next year, many of whom aren’t realistic first team starters. The remaining 20 are evidently: loan signings, out of contract or “too good” for this level.
Whoever Celtic go for in the end will not have an easy ride of things. You could argue they’re faced with a task unheard of in Celtic’s modern history. They will inherit a team no longer the “top dogs” so to speak. If the club are extremely reckless in their choosing of a successor, it could be curtains for the club as a whole for many years to come, when we speak about silverware and dominance.
The candidates are, somewhat, more enthralling than perhaps it was back in the early part of the decade, whenever there was a vacancy at Paradise. Your Owen Coyle’s and David Moyes’ are long gone. Replaced with promising talents like Benitez and Howe. In my eyes, we’re a long way away from names like that stepping out onto the green surface in front of the faithful. We may well be left hard done by again come those fated Champions League qualifiers.
Nonetheless, we must look forward and start rebuilding our excitement for what is to come for the club. A numbness and lack of emotion at watching Celtic ever since Sparta Prague has now all but wavered. It is now time to stand behind John Kennedy from now till May. I’m not one to shout his praises but he’s certainly got a hard task ahead of him for the next 12 weeks.