We are close approaching the 2nd anniversary of Neil Lennon’s appointment on a temporary basis as Celtic manager. It followed a night that most of us will never forget.
Only once in my 46 years on this earth have I left a football match before the final whistle and it was that night inPaisley. 24/03/10
As the second goal hit the back of the net was the moment I did something I had never done before, I made for the exit early, the third went in before we were in the street and it was 4 by the time we got to the Wig & Pen. I don’t think I have ever got so drunk on a school night and can’t remember leaving the pub inAyrat 2am after many shots and knowing I was up for work in 4 hours.
But then the transformation started, the board took the bull by the horns and appointed Lenny to take temporary charge until the season’s end.
We were out of the running for the league, had been put out the CIS cup back in October but still had a shot at Scottish Cup glory.
His first game in charge came only 3 days later and resulted in a 3-1 win overKilmarnock, the first of 16 straight SPL wins on the trot. The only blip domestically being the semi-final defeat toRossCountyand the least said the better.
The board decided to appoint Neil as permanent manager in the summer of 2010 and he went about bringing in his back room staff on a full-time basis, Thommo, Big Dolph & Gary Parker all joined what we hoped would be the start of the revolution.
His record from his appointment has had its ups and its downs but overall he has a record to match any great manager in top flight football.
He has been in charge for 101 games, won 77, drew 11 & lost only 13 in all competitions giving him a win percentage of 76.24%, an astonishing rate for a rookie manager at such a big club.
In his first full year in charge he took Celtic to both domestic finals, losing 1 & winning the other and lost the league on the last day of the season. This year looks as though we have a genuine chance of winning the treble, so if you look at the 6 domestic trophies that he has competed for on a permanent basis that is a fantastic record.
Along the way we have also had the 26 match unbeaten run & 17 straight SPL wins, no mean feat.
This demonstrates Neil Lennon’s value to Celtic as a match winner.
But what about away from the wins & the records.
Since Neil took over there has been a revolving door as far as players are concerned, he has in his 4 transfer windows transformed the former Tony Mowbray team of misfits into the Neil Lennon team of winners.
There have been some diamonds bought in, Hooper Izzy, Kayal etc and some that weren’t quite as successful, Murphy, Juarez, Bangura.
However from the figures that I have been able to find online (yes those internet bampots), it would appear that in his time as manager Neil Lennon has spent £14,207,600 on transfer fees while at the same time bringing in £19,109,000 meaning that he has actually a net spend of -£4,881,400. Not bad for a team on the verge of a domestic treble.
The figures that I used came from transfermarkt and may be disputed as I remember recently reading Neil stating that he had not spent more than £1.6M on a player so it makes his dealings all the more remarkable.
The players that he has brought in and that are regulars in the first team squad seem to fit the clubs identikit for a Celtic FC football player in this day & age.
Young, talented, able, full of promise and with a large net profit to be made should the timer come.
Going by the figures that I have used and using my own opinion on their current value (I know that this will cause serious debate), we start to see the financial value to Celtic of Neil Lennon as manager.
Player Cost(£M) Today’s Value(£M)
Emilio Izaguirre 0.64 4.0
KrisCommons 0.38 1.5
Charlie Mulgrew 0.00 3.0
Joe Ledley 0.00 5.0
Gary Hooper 2.40 5.0
Biram Kayal 1.58 4.0
Anthony Stokes 1.28 4.0
KelvinWilson 0.00 2.0
Adam Matthews 0.19 3.5
Victor Wanyama 0.98 4.0
On average I think that Celtic could see a 4 or 5 fold return on the money that we have paid for players IF we were to look to sell any on.
You just need to look at the players that are in the first team squad that Neil did not purchase and the transformation of these players not only in value but in performance, guys such as Ki, Rogne, Brown & Samaras, as well as youngsters like Forrest & McGeouch getting their chance.
This current Celtic squad may not have cost much to assemble but in today’s market they are quite a valuable asset.
This demonstrates Neil Lennon’s value to Celtic in the transfer market.
If you look at the style of play that Neil is wanting & getting most of the time, the team to play we can appreciate his talent as a coach.
His teams are fluid, they are attacking, and they are adaptable as is he if things are not going right, Sunday at Tannadice is a prime example.
He wasn’t afraid to switch the team about after the first 15 minutes as Dundee Untied were on the ascendency and by switching Mulgrew to LB, Ledley to CM & Wanyama to CB he countered United’s threat by being fully aware of the situation.
We have a team that can switch & adapt quickly & Hugh McDonald sums this up quite eloquently in this piece in The Herald. heraldscotland
This doesn’t even start to address the astonishing fact that the average age of our first team is just over 22 and that Neil Lennon is building a team & squad of players that could go on to dominate Scottish football for a number of years playing in a style that is a delight to watch, most of the time.
A certain punter once quoted “you don’t win anything with kids” and who am I to disagree with an ex-Scotland player who picks up £40,000 p/w of taxpayers money to give his opinion. Well on that occasion he was proven wrong and Neil Lennon is proving him wrong here and now. This team WILL win the treble & I would go as far to say the majority of domestic trophies up for grabs in the next few years. They will also mature into a team that can compete on the European stage and how far they will go has still to be seen.
This demonstrates Neil Lennon’s value to Celtic as a coach & tactician.
The man who proved Alan Hansen wrong all those years ago has enjoyed a very long & successful career as a manager at one club & I believe that in Neil Lennon we have a young man who has the world at his feet and could go on for as long as he chooses to manage Celtic. Lennon has all the characteristics to be a long serving & successful manager of Celtic FC.
He is tenacious, articulate, single minded, loyal, focused, humorous, and a lot more. He has more back-bone than most of us, and many would have walked away from what he had to endure off the field last year. He is determined to succeed in the job he was born to do and with the support of the fans & the board he will prove to be one of the most successful managers of Celtic FC. Don’t get me wrong, I was one of the many doubting him at half time on 15/10/11 and for once found myself wavering in my support for him, but he bounced back like he has so many other times in his life.
He is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in and will lead this great club to untold success.
This demonstrates Neil Lennon’s value to Celtic as a man.
Neil Lennon is the identikit manager that Celtic have been looking for, for a number of years and his value to the club is immense.
WE ARE ALL NEIL LENNON 18