I’ve always viewed Neil Lennon as a very thick skinned person. The adversity he’s gone through during his career will do that to you. He’s faced so much head on and it’s why he is still regarded as a massive figure for Celtic despite last season
However, his response to some of his former teammates doing their job last season paints a picture of a very thin skinned individual when it comes to his managerial career.
Neil had a lot of support from his former teammates in the media last season, far beyond what any other person would’ve received in the same situation.
Guys like Chris Sutton and John Hartson kept giving Neil the benefit of the doubt when things were going badly wrong.
As the season hurtled towards a 25 point deficit in the league, the guys paid to give their opinion could no longer credibly call for the Celtic manager to get more time and in many instances admitted his time was up.
Neil Lennon felt betrayed by this and has shut some of these people out of his life now.
When you’re bread and butter is to call it as you see it, you can be loyal up to a point but you have to be truthful and honest and that’s all they were.
Asked if his relationships with Desmond and Lawwell have changed, he replied: “Not at all. It has with some other people, ex-teammates…
“That’s the fickle nature of football sometimes, but I didn’t see it coming in the volume it did come.”
“But certainly not with those two. I was very close to them and I still am.
“Yes (they were team-mates critical of me). I’m far from happy. They basically stabbed me not in the back, but in the front.”
Neil wouldn’t name anybody specifically but when asked if he’d spoken to any of them since, the former Celtic boss claims they tried to backtrack.
The Irishman claimed their response was: “‘A bu-bu-bu, I didn’t mean it like that’.”
Neil is still in denial about the lockdown season and his part in it. It was death by 1000 cuts but some of those cuts were self inflicted and made by our manager at the time. He has blamed everything and everyone apart from himself.
If former teammates are now being blanked by Neil, they should feel safe in the knowledge they were honest and called it like they saw it at the time.
In between his two spells as Celtic manager, Neil was happy to give his honest opinion on Ronny Deila at times. To say they weren’t entitled to their honest opinion because they were friends is quite childish.