Tag Archives: Neil Lennon

Celtic F.C. and Politics Colide Again; Should Fans Have the Right to Protest

Dr. John Reid, chairman for Celtic F.C., has been adamant he does not support but condones the protests of the Remembrance Day poppies by some Celtic fans. The Chairman told the Glasgow Evening Times, "These actions have no place at Celtic Park.” (Courtesy Steve Punter/Wikicommons)

By Ryan Fleming

It has long been established that soccer is not merely a game. It is indeed much more. Beyond the ball, the formations and tactics, there is something infinitely important that plays out over 90 minutes on the field. To some people, countries, soccer is a way to express oneself, to show to everyone that even through a sport, they can succeed.

For a little over an hour and a half, a battle – not just a game is being played. To many people, a club can represent a lifestyle – a place where hope can be instilled, where religious beliefs lie and where political allegiances can be seen throughout stadiums.

This weekend through the UK and other commonwealth countries, is known as Remembrance Day; a day to reflect on veterans of all wars, particularly since World War I.

For many they are giving their thanks for their countrymen that fought against other countries for an array of reasons. If you have watched any matches as of late, you will notice that managers have worn a poppy on the outside of their clothing, a symbol of remembrance. For those in politically charged areas, it is acts like this that can cause controversy.

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Celtic's Old Firm Loss Raises Questions

Ibrox wasn't a welcoming site for Neil Lennon and Celtic last weekend for the Old Firm match between Celtic and Rangers. Celtic lost 3-1 thanks to Kenny Miller's second half brace. (Courtesy Thomas Nugent )

By Ryan Fleming

It’s not the end of the world. Hope still remains that the top of the table can become Celtic’s come the end of the year. But Sunday morning’s 3-1 loss to their cross-town rival, Glasgow Rangers, once again raises questions for those who support Celtic.

Coming into this year the Hoops hired Neil Lennon, a former defensive midfielder and fan favorite, to take the post previously vacated by the sacking of Tony Mowbray. The Northern Irishman held the post for the back end of last season’s campaign, posting a spotless record in league competition.

Until now, Lennon completed little of what has been asked of him. SC Braga knocked the Hoops out of the Champions League and FC Utrecht humiliated the club out of the Europa League.

The loss to Gers at Celtic Park on Saturday capitalized all the questions surrounding the young, inexperienced manager. While those questions fade when the team is doing well, they are more apparent than ever when the Hoops fumble.

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Celtic Deserved Win Over Dundee United Despite Referee's Decision

Dundee United were unable to hold onto a 1-1 draw with Celtic at Tannadice Stadium this past weekend despite a controversial decision by the referee. Courtesy Benson85

By Ryan Fleming

It wouldn’t have been right. An injustice would have been done. But before Gary Hooper scored his second goal of a 2-1 win over Dundee United on Sunday at Tannadice, it seemed as if the Hoops were headed back to Celtic Park feeling gutted, cheated.

“It was one of the best performances I’ve seen since I’ve been in charge of the team in terms of attacking, quality football,” Celtic manager Neil Lennon told soccernet.com. “I’m very proud of the team, and despite a very controversial decision going against us, they never let their heads go down, we kept creating chances and we got what we deserved.”

Referee Dougie McDonald’s controversial call saw Hooper denied a penalty with his team even to United, 1-1, in the 69th minute. The former Scunthrope striker clashed with Dundee keeper, Dusan Pernis. McDonald awarded the penalty immediately, but to overturn his own decision minutes after conferring with assistant Steven Craven.

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading — Sept. 20

Holland international Rafael van der Vaart caught on quick to how important the Tottenham and Arsenal rivalry is to the players and the fans. Courtesy Paul Blank

Sky Sports — Rafael issues Gunners taunt

Tottenham’s new boy Rafael van der Vaart wasted no time in joining in on the Spurs rivalry with Arsenal. The London clubs face off this week in a Carling Cup tie, and van der Vaart already knows the importance of the Spurs and Gunners match. This is for the right to boast about being the better club in the city, something every fan and player wants to be able to do. The Dutchman has issued his warning, calling Spurs “the bigger club,” after Spurs 3-1 win over Wolves on Saturday.

The Guardian — Roma lacking testicular fortitude as press gets under Ranieri’s skin — by Paolo Bandini

Roma was many pundits favorite club to challenge Inter Milan, and even dethrone the five time defending champions. Doesn’t look like Roma will be mounting a surge anytime soon if they continue to play like a bunch of aging stars with no heart. Claudio Ranieri decided to have a temper tantrum this weekend before Roma’s match with Bologne, and it didn’t do him much good because his squad didn’t back up his word. Instead, the team threw away a two goal lead late in the game and is still searching for its first win of the season.

BBC — Berbatov exposes Liverpool decline — by Phil McNulty

The Manchester United and Liverpool rivalry has been well documented, and Sir Alex Fergusson, United’s manager, even went so far as to say that the match-up is the “most important fixture.” Roy Hodgson and Liverpool must not have thought so– except for maybe a few of the players– because the team didn’t really show up until the second half, and even then they just strolled along at a snail’s tempo while United’s Bulgarian hitman, Dimitar Berbatov, was scoring a hat-trick and leading the Red Devils to a 3-2 win over the Reds.

ESPNSoccernet — Back in the big time — by Phil Ball

Xabi Alonso grew up a Real Sociedad fan. He played for the Basque club before being swiped up by Liverpool. He still carries a fan membership card for the club, but now he wears the hated Real Madrid jersey and had to face his old club for the first time this past weekend. Alonso and Madrid got lucky with a 2-1 win. The game should have gone to the hosts and Madrid should have gone home licking their wounds, but Sociedad missed its chances and Madrid made its count. Los Blancos manager Jose Mourinho said this fixture would be Madrid’s toughest of the season as they entered into a hostile stadium against last year’s division two champions, and he was right. It was an impressive performance by the Basque club, but theysquandered too many chances.

Evening Times — No yearning for marquee signings as Anthony Stokes displays his intent… — by Thomas Jordon

Celtic fell behind early to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park, but the Hoops latest signing, Anthony Stokes, earned a penalty kick,  Daryl Murphy slotted it home, and scored the game-winning goal as he found himself in the right place at the right time. Stokes wasn’t Neil Lennon’s first choice signing during the transfer window– Lennon was looking to bring in either Robbie Keane or Craig Bellamy, but was unable to. Yet, the Irish International could be a bargain for Celtic and Lennon, and just the type of player the Hoops need to overtake Rangers and claim back the top-spot in the SPL.

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Lennon leading revolution for Celtic

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has the Hoops off to a great start in 2010-11 despite an early departure from the UEFA Champions League (Photo Courtesy Jonesy702)

By Ryan Fleming

New managers often make mistakes. Sometimes they are more frequent than the managers they replace. One common mistake is having a team revolution, or selling a majority and replacing those players with suitable ones that fit the role or the new playing style the new boss hopes to implement

Neil Lennon, the Celtic boss has done just that. Though, for the Northern Irishman, this tactic has for the most part seemed to work. Lennon took over for Tony Mowbray after the Hoops apathetic season was given an exclamation point – or maybe it’s sullen opposite – after lowly St. Mirren trounced Celtic, 4-0, at the end of March. With a month and a half left in Celtic’s woefully dismal season, Lennon was basically given a trial more than the task to catch Rangers, who were flirting with a double-digit point lead in the table.
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What The Soccer Guys are Reading – August 17, 2010

Geovanni becomes the MLS's 14th designated player after he signed with the San Jose Earthquakes. Courtesy SJEarthquakes.com

The Guardian – Mistakes cost Newcastle season opener – Daniel Taylor

Mistakes by newly-promoted Magpies sacrifices a rare win at Old Trafford, falling 3-0 to Manchester United in the season opener. Berbatov stared in beating with one goal and an array of chances to boot.

MLSsoccer.com – Geovanni slotted as 14th Designated Player in MLS – Frank Stranzi

Former Barcelona and Hull City midfielder joins San Jose Earthquakes as team’s first-ever DP. The creative midfielder will be depended on immediately to make plays for a team that is starving for goals.

The Daily Record – Hoops add Swedish stopper to shore up defense

Dainel Majstorovic signs a two-year deal with Celtic from Swedish club, AEK Athens. The 33-year-old international vows to make a difference at Parkhead. Majstorovic marks Neil Lennon’s eighth signing this summer.

Irish Times – Young Boys to play Spurs with utmost confidence

Despite the talent that Tottenham possess, the Swiss side seem to be heavy with belief and even respect of their oppenent ahead of today’s Champions League leg. The cup tie will be Spurs’s first since 1962.

Sky Sports – Liverpool look to Holland for more firepower

New manager Roy Hodgson is prepared to bid over £10 million for Ola Toivonen, the Swedish international and PSV striker. With five goals in his team’s first two games, the Reds see the 24-year-old as another asset up front.

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Top Transfers of the Summer, So Far

By Kevin Koczwara

David Villa — Before the World Cup Barcelona made one of the biggest splashes in the transfer market of the summer. Villa’s move to Barcelona could be the best deal of the summer for both player and club. Villa’s asking price would have sky-rocketed after he helped Spain win the World Cup with his team leading and competition-tying five goals, but the Catalans got him for a fair price from Valencia. Villa will fit into the Barcelona squad with ease — I mean it consists mostly of Spain’s World Cup and Euro 2008 winning side that he helped lead.

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Lennon Wants Celtic Job Despite The Challenge Ahead

By Ryan Fleming

For Celtic this has been a year to forget. And for their supporters it has never been a better time to reflect on the good ol’ days of the past and pull together whatever optimism they might still have for the future.

A lot has happened since I last talked about the Glasgow giants. Actually, I am not even sure I can consider them a “giant” anymore. When I refer to giants, like French giants, Bordeaux, Marseille and Lyon, or English giants, Manchester United or Chelsea. I think of teams that are top class, that are better than most, that are consistently in European play year after year.

Sure, the Hoops often make it to European competition, but if they cannot make it out of the group stages. I hardly consider that something to be mentioned.

Celtic suffered one of its worst defeats in its 122-year history last week when it was embarrassed, 2-0, by Ross County. The loss not only signifies how mediocre football is in the Scottish Premier League, but it also puts in question one of the worlds most popular and storied clubs.

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