|Job||Northern Irishman Football Coach|
|Org||Northern Ireland National Team|
|Club as Coach||Celtic [Head Coach]|
2019 04 27 Retrieve
[Although Celtic cannot win the league on Sunday after being held to a scoreless draw by Hibs last weekend, they can close to within a point of the title and manager Neil Lennon said his troops are eager to seal a third successive domestic treble in McNeill’s memory] With this in the background, it makes it even more significant. The players will be highly motivated on two fronts now. We’re a club in mourning. Billy McNeill was Celtic. He was an icon, a hero. My image of Billy will always be him stood on that podium in Lisbon, this Adonis in a green and white shirt holding the cup. I can’t put into words how big a loss he is for this club
2019 05 04 Retrieve
[Celtic title win Neil Lennon’s ‘toughest’ job yet] It’s 11 games unbeaten but it doesn’t feel like it at times, with some of the criticism that comes at us. But you have to ignore that, stay focused, and they’ve done an amazing job, the players. It’s been really, really tough. It’s been the toughest piece of management I’ve had to do. I know on the outside people think it looks easy but it’s been difficult going in on my own. There was a lot of discontent around the club and a bit of agitation but the players have helped me and I’d like to think I’ve helped them. It’s a real privilege to be here as interim manager or any kind of manager on championship day. It’s very special
[Lennon paid tribute to his predecessor Rodgers, who won back-to-back titles in just under three years at Celtic Park, and credited his players for keeping their cool in a week when they attended the funeral of club legend Billy McNeill] ‘s a wonderful moment for the club and great moment for the players and the supporters because they’re the most important people. The players were fantastic once again. They give me the heebie jeebies sometimes with the way they play and take chances. I have to pay tribute to Brendan. I have to pay a huge amount of credit to him for this title success because of the foundations that he’s built here. I was lucky enough to carry it on so it’s a great moment for me personally and for my family. It just felt right this week. We kept really calm, with all the emotions this week of Billy’s funeral. There’s a lot of negativity at times surrounding us and I’ve had to listen to a lot of fake news, but the players have done really well
2019 05 24 Retrieve
[Neil Lennon remains unsure if he will still be in charge of Celtic next season] I want to manage. Take a holiday first and then have a look at things and see what’s there. I’ve really enjoyed the last three years being back in Scotland. I’ve had some great success both at Hibs and Celtic. I’ve enjoyed it immensely and it’s been really good for me so if it’s not to be Celtic then I’m hoping for a new challenge somewhere else. I would love it [if I stayed on at Celtic]. It’s a privileged position, I’ve done it before.
[Lennon claims the thinking of the Celtic board will not be swayed by the outcome of a cup final clash with Hearts] I’ve been told that already by the hierarchy and I’ve no reason not to believe that
[He has faced criticism at times] It’s not my side, it’s Brendan’s and it’s not my style of play, it’s Brendan Rogers’s. People saying, ‘well the performances aren’t the same’, well they are. If I had gone in there and changed things and it hadn’t worked, then I would’ve been making a huge mistake. It was important to get the players over the line, win the league. The training, everything, we kept the same. You’ve got to put the players first. It’s an important piece of the club’s history that they could achieve here. Going forward, the style of play I think can be a little bit different. Teams are starting to work out the way we play. We need to be more flexible in our style. I was a bit shocked that Brendan had left, just the timing of it, but it’s understandable because it’s a professional decision at the end of the day and he’s back in the Premier League with a great club that I know of. When the inevitable happened, then I was ready to ask the question of myself and thought, ‘yeah, I’m going to do this, I want to do this
2019 05 25 Retrieve
[Odsonne Edouard’s second-half brace saw Celtic come from behind to clinch a third consecutive domestic treble with a 2-1 Scottish Cup final win over Hearts] You’ll never see this again. Edouard’s a superstar. In footballing parlance, it’s impossible [to put it into words]. That’s nine trophies out of nine. It is remarkable. They’ve done themselves great justice and they’ve done the club proud
2019 05 25b Tweet
[Celtic have confirmed that Neil Lennon has been offered their managerial job on a permanent basis] We are delighted to announce that Neil Lennon has been offered the job as permanent Celtic FC manager and the details will be confirmed in the coming days
2019 05 25c Retrieve
[Celtic have confirmed that Neil Lennon has been offered their managerial job on a permanent basis. Lennon, who played for Celtic between 2000 and 2007 and managed them between 2010 and 2014, was delighted by the chance to lead the club once more] It’s a privilege, it’s been my privilege to manage the club once but to do it a second time I feel like I’ve come sort of full circle again. It was always my objective. I left the club on good terms the last time and nothing’s changed. It’s been a roller coaster couple of months, difficult, but I hope I bring a lot more success to the club going forward
2019 05 31 Retrieve
[Celtic have confirmed the appointment of Neil Lennon as their new manager, with a familiar face agreeing a 12-month rolling contract] It is a massive honour to be named Celtic manager once again. I had always dreamed of returning to this role on a permanent basis and I am absolutely delighted to once again be part of one of the biggest and best clubs in the world - an institution which really does mean so much to me and one which has always been such a huge part of my life. When I was asked to take over in February, I felt it was my duty to do so. Celtic will always be my club and I wanted to help finish the job which had been started.
I was delighted with the way the players stuck to their task and delivered another historic success, which is unlikely to ever be repeated. I was also delighted to receive such great support from our fans since returning, something for which I will be forever grateful. In the space of just a few weeks, Trophy Day at Celtic Park and securing the Treble Treble at Hampden are two of my greatest days in football. The energy, total commitment and passion from our supporters, the effort, the talent and desire from our players. It’s these qualities which make our club great and deliver such historic occasions. I want to be part of delivering more of these great days and great achievements and I look forward to working with the players, the staff and the fans to make this happen
2019 06 07 Retrieve
[Phil Jagielka has become a free agent after reaching the end of his contract at Everton] I saw Jags in January when I went down during the winter break. He’s a top player, he’s more of a footballing defender if you like. He maybe doesn’t look like that a lot of times in games but he is a very good footballer who could easily play in midfield. As he’s got older he’s played less, but I think he’s still got loads of qualities. When I saw he was leaving Everton my first thought was where he’ll go. I can’t see him finishing because he has a lot to offer and loves football.
Will that be in Scotland? I would be surprised if he came up here. He’s got more association with different clubs down south, like Sheffield United where he came through, and he has a family with kids who are going through school. So with all those thoughts to consider I’d be surprised if he comes to Scotland.
But I’m sure he’ll play on at a good level. He’s a very good pro and over the last year or year-and-a-half at Everton it has been tough for him because he was a mainstay and would have wanted to play all the time. But from talking to him and other boys at Everton he has had the mental strength to adapt to that. He’s the club captain and has to have a level of professionalism and he would carry that off easily
: 2019 06 21 Celtic will begin the 2019-20 season in high spirits, having won the last nine domestic trophies on offer in Scotland. The target of Neil Lennon’s side this time around, however, is to equal history by winning a ninth-straight Scottish Premiership title, taking them to the brink of the elusive 10-in-a-row
2019 06 27 Retrieve
[The Hoops boss Neil Lennon says Arsenal will need to offer ‘a lot more’ than £15 million if they want to prise Kieran Tierney away from Celtic] Not that I’m aware of. Arsenal are aware of what we value the player at. He’s on a long-term contract, he’s an asset and we don’t want to sell him. It’s going to have to take a lot more than what they’ve offered the first time around to give us a decision to make. I’ve had a chat with him as it can be a difficult decision and bit unsettling. I’ve been there myself so it’s important that we support him regardless of the outcome.
2019 06 28 Retrieve
[Celtic have completed the signing of defender Christopher Jullien from Toulouse on a four-year deal] We’ve got a squad of great quality already here at the club, who have achieved incredible success over the past few seasons, but it’s always good to add further quality to the group, and that’s what we’ve got with Christopher. I know the players will be delighted to welcome him into the squad, and I know he will be keen to play his part in the seasons ahead as we look to deliver further success for our supporters
2019 07 05 Retrieve
[The Gunners have opened the bidding for the Celtic defender, but are considered to be some way short of meeting his valuation] Arsenal are aware of what we value the player at. He’s on a long-term contract, he’s an asset and we don’t want to sell him. It’s going to have to take a lot more than what they’ve offered the first time around to give us a decision to make
2019 07 09 Retrieve
[Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham is in hot water with boss Neil Lennon over comments made regarding the quality of football in the Scottish Premier League. The 23-year-old, formerly of Manchester City, revealed he had failed to develop at the club, also adding that the level of football in Scotland’s top division was not high] That will be addressed when Olivier comes back. I think it is fair to say that a lot of us, whether it be management, players or people at the club were not satisfied with the comments
When I speak to Olivier it will be done privately but you can imagine, we find the comments untimely and not particularly accurate
He still has a future [at Celtic], he is under contract. But I will be speaking to him about his mindset and his attitude toward the club as well which, the way it came across, didn’t look good
2019 07 09b Retrieve
[FC Sarajevo vs Celtic. Neil Lennon’s side will take any aid going into such an important match, they go into the game high in confidence after a successful training camp in Austria, where they played four friendlies and won three] These are the most difficult games. The Champions League and everything that comes with it is brilliant, but the hard work is getting there. We could have had an easier draw, but the guys know what the incentives are and they know what’s at stake. I’ve had experience in the Champions League during my time at Celtic, as have these players. Qualification is one of our priorities. We know it’s a difficult road to travel but it’s one we’re prepared and ready for.
The experience that I’ve had will stand us in good stead, and as a core group, these players know what to expect. I think it’s harsh that we need to play four qualifiers but we have to accept that. It’s almost as good as winning a trophy, qualifying for the Champions League. This is the first step in hopefully achieving that. The game will sway to and fro and they’re going to be tight. We’ve no divine right to get into the Champions League, but from our perspective it’d be massive for the club to qualify.
2019 07 13 Retrieve
[FC Celtic vs Rennes. The Hoops made an excellent start to their European assault on Wednesday by winning 3-1 in Sarajevo] It’s a great position to be in. Considering where we are, so early and against really decent opposition who are tactically smart and a big threat at set plays, it’s a great performance.
2019 07 14 Retrieve
[Arsenal are waiting to hear back from Celtic after making a second bid for left-back Kieran Tierney. Speaking about the possibility of the 22-year-old moving to Arsenal] I have taken no notice of the headlines. I am well aware of where we are in terms of the situation. I spoke to Kieran in Austria and to be honest I haven’t really seen much of him because he came back early for rehab, so has not been on the training ground as yet. It can be an unsettling period for any player and that is understandable but until a club comes up with any sort of realistic valuation of the player we don’t have to do anything and we won’t. It’s as you were. Kieran is getting on with his rehabilitation and we are getting on with what we have to do here
2019 07 16 Retrieve
[Neil Lennon says Celtic will not be pushed over in Kieran Tierney transfer talks with Arsenal] We can’t do anything about what clubs do in England. £50m for Wan-Bissaka is a lot of money and we feel that Kieran is a far more experienced and rounded full-back at this juncture in his career. He’s an asset for us and we do have a value for the player and we rate the player very highly. So disrespectful is the wrong word but we’re certainly not going to be pushed over in any negotiations and we’re in a very strong position with regard to a number of our assets in the team
The club’s valuation of Kieran has not been met and until then we don’t have a discussion to make. I don’t know what Arsenal’s financial state is. I know what ours is and we are quite comfortable with the situation at the moment. There has been a second bid, the bid has been rejected and it’s as you were. He’s a great player and a great talent. He’s just 22 years old and has so much more to give to the game. It doesn’t surprise me that there are potential suitors. It’s a compliment for all the work he’s done over the years. He’s got a long-term contract and we don’t want him to go
2019 07 17 Retrieve
[FC Celtic vs FK Sarajevo. Celtic return home for their first competitive fixture of the 2019-20 season at Parkhead well placed to move through into the next round of Champions League qualifying] We would have liked a bit more action in front of goal in terms of in the box and maybe some goals, but the fitness benefit will be great for us. The games in between the European ties are very important in terms topping up the fitness levels of the ones who maybe didn’t play in midweek, while the ones who have had a longer off-season maybe need a bit more sharpness. We got that, which is the most important thing. There doesn’t seem to be many knocks or injuries, so we just prepare now for Wednesday night
2019 07 23 Retrieve
[Celtic manager Neil Lennon has said that in his eyes, left-back Kieran Tierney’s transfer to Arsenal is off] The deal, as far as I’m aware, is not happening. We are delighted about that and it’s just a question of appeasing his mind now. As far as I am aware, it is finished. I don’t know if Arsenal are going to meet our valuation. So it is basically as you were
[The Hoops boss knows that if Tierney does stick around] That may be difficult for Kieran to get his head around - or he comes back to the fold and gets on with things. I’ll have to speak to him and I’m sure the club will as well. But it may rumble on as well, I don’t know
Until the window closes, we can’t relax and I’m sure Kieran can’t either
[Lennon also shut the door on a rumoured incoming move, with former Leicester City full-back Danny Simpson not coming to Parkhead] That [Simpson] is not happening. We are down the line with one player, so he is going through the medical process.
2019 07 26 Retrieve
[Arsenal are yet to table a third offer for Kieran Tierney, but Celtic manager Neil Lennon admits he is drawing up a contingency plan at Parkhead] There is a lot of speculation - that is going to rumble on - and I am sort of at ad nauseam of answering the same questions over and over at every press conference. It is as you were a week ago. Two bids have been in and two bids have been rejected. That is where we are
If there is interest in him then other clubs may come in or Arsenal may come again. I can’t predict that. At the minute he is working away in the background and it is difficult for him to keep focused at times because he is only human. But we are supporting him all we can
[The summer transfer window in Scotland will slam shut on September 2, with Celtic eager to ensure that they are not left short when the deadline passes] You always have a contingency plan for cases and work out other options if that worst-case scenario were to happen. Yes, having that extra two or three weeks later on in the window might be beneficial
2019 07 30 Retrieve
[Nomme Kalju vs Celtic. Neil Lennon’s attitude with regards his squad selection certainly seems to hint that he feels that the vast majority of the work is done. Key men James Forrest and Callum McGregor have both been allowed to stay in Glasgow Rangers] We’re not taking the tie lightly, we’ve come with a great squad and we’ll play to win. It’s really important to win the game the best we can. Complacency is your enemy in a situation like this. Most people will see Celtic qualifying as a foregone conclusion but we need to be professional. Even in the strong position we’re in, we’re here to compete and to win. I don’t think the scoreline last week flattered us as we played very well. But going away from home in the Champions League, these are difficult ties and we’ll prepare the team as best as we can possibly can
[Lennon reserve particular praise for Ryan Christie’s performance last week] Ryan Christie has had a great couple of games. I thought he was fantastic in his all-round game and is weighing in with goals now. Getting goals from attacking midfield is something we’re looking to improve on as the season goes on
2019 08 02 Retrieve
[Celtic boss Neil Lennon has admitted he would not be at all surprised if Arsenal came back in with another offer for full-back Kieran Tierney before the transfer window closes next Thursday] Normally these things tend to happen again so it would not surprise me, put it that way. That’s not from personal knowledge of anything, that’s just my own experience of things. We know the window shuts on Thursday, so if we are talking about Arsenal then they have five or six days to come back with a revised offer
[And transfer talk aside, Lennon freely admits that getting the fan-favourite back up to speed in training has been one of his top priorities] We will continue on and get Kieran back with us and fit as quickly as possible because he is such an important player.
[Lennon believes his squad is more than ready to launch their bid for what would be a record-equalling ninth-successive Scottish league title] They don’t really talk about it (nine in a row). That’s for fans and media, it gives them something to talk about. We’ve asked the players whether it’s your first, fifth, seventh or ninth title, have you got the hunger to go again? You can see it in their eyes, they’re well set to go
2019 08 02b Retrieve
[Speaking about the situation with Kieran Tierney, Hoops boss Neil Lennon admitted he was expecting a third offer to arrive for the Scotland international] Normally these things tend to happen again. I imagine there will be offers coming in. For certain individual players, the asking price hasn’t been met and the clubs know what the asking price is. So until that valuation is met then thankfully we don’t have a decision to make. If we’re talking about Arsenal, they have five or six days to come back in with a revised offer. The closer it comes to the end of the window and then something crops up, we are prepared for that aspect of it, but it’s not welcome
2019 08 07 Retrieve
[Cluj vs Celtic. Celtic boss Neil Lennon is under no illusions that his side will have an easy ride] I would imagine this will be our biggest test so far this season. Cluj are the Romanian champions, they negotiated a tough tie in the last round, they’re strong and they’re compact. They cross the ball early, get the ball forward quickly, and they’re well-organised in their defensive structure. We’re away from home in the first leg, so we’ll have to apply ourselves and we’ll have to reset things, in terms of our own mentality, going into this game. But we know what our incentives are and what our motivation is
[Speaking on Hatem Abd Elhamed ‘s inclusion] Hatem had a great debut, and I think he set the tone for the game. He was strong, he was very quick and able going forward, and he was comfortable on the ball. He’s also a good size, so aerially, for a full-back, he’s in a good place as well. He can be delighted with his contribution. Unfortunately, he picked up a bit of a dead leg, but we’re hoping he can be fit for Wednesday
2019 08 08 Retrieve
[Arsenal have finally completed the signing of left-back Kieran Tierney from Celtic, for a fee of £25 million] This is an opportunity Kieran wanted to take and while we will be sad to see him leave the club, we wish Kieran all the very best for the future. Although he is still a young guy, Kieran has given the club so much. He’s a great lad and I’ve really enjoyed working with him. I’m sure he will continue to progress and develop and make a big impact in the English Premiership. It has obviously been a long process, but now it has been finalised we can now look ahead and concentrate on continuing to build our own squad and meet the many challenges ahead, domestically and in Europe
2019 08 10 Retrieve
[Motherwell vs Celtic. Five European matches have been negotiated undefeated by Neil Lennon’s men] We’ve got to be delighted with the away goal. I thought we looked good moving forward throughout the game. I was delighted with our attacking intent, and I thought we defended resolutely throughout the game as well. You have to give Cluj credit, they scored a fine goal on the counterattack. But our reaction was superb, with Ryan Christie and Edouard playing brilliantly throughout the game. They always looked like they could score. And, of course, James Forrest is a big-game player and he’s popped up with another crucial goal for us this evening
2019 08 12 Retrieve
[Celtic manager Neil Lennon confirmed Tierney has stopped by to see his old team-mates and coaches] He popped in and everyone was delighted to see him. He got a nice farewell from the players. It was emotional for him obviously, but the players get on with it now. That’s what you do, you move on. He’s going to be a big miss obviously but there’s an opportunity there for someone else to take on the mantle now
2019 08 13 Retrieve
[Neil Lennon accused Celtic of conceding crazy, suicidal goals against CFR Cluj as they suffered a shock Champions League qualifying defeat] The goals we conceded are crazy. You’ve got to do the basics well - you’ve got to stop crosses, close people down, get your head on things - and it was almost as if we scored and wanted to switch off and control the game. In the first half, we were way too passive, way too slow with the tempo, so we gave them a bit of a razz at half-time and we got the right response going 2-1 up. But we needed that two-goal cushion. It’s suicidal the goals we gave away. The first goal, we got a warning before that, and we still didn’t stop the cross and the guy’s got across for a run. If you don’t do the basics defensively well enough then, at this level, you get punished. We’ve let it go. We’ve only ourselves to blame. We had the lead and we let it slip through our own decision-making, really
[Lennon is keen to lift his side’s spirits before they now prepare for a play-off to reach the Europa League group stages] We’ve got to work with the players. We’ve got to raise their morale, first of all. We’re going to get a bit of criticism and that’s totally par for the course. We’ve worked really hard to get where we are and we’ve basically thrown it away. We’ve got some good defenders but for some reason they wanted to slow the game down
2019 08 22 Retrieve
[Celtic vs AIK. Celtic have been left in a state of shock by their Champions League exit at the hands of Cluj] I wasn’t displeased with the performance at all, although you’re in a no-win situation; you’ve got to win by four or five and if you don’t then it’s a poor performance - but it wasn’t. We showed a lot of character and kept going. We got what we deserved in the end, which was a win
2019 08 22b Retrieve
[Fraser Forster has re-joined Celtic on a season-long loan from Southampton] Fraser was available, he knows the club and we know him. He had a wonderful time here the first time. He’s still only 31 so he’s still at his peak
2019 08 29 Retrieve
[AIK vs Celtic. the Scottish side holding a healthy 2-0 advantage as they travel to Sweden for their return leg against AIK] The tie in Stockholm isn’t over and we know we have a job to do. It’s away from home. It’ll be difficult but I want us to create opportunities to score. We know what is at stake and we know what we need to do. We’ve got a big game at the weekend too, and we always keep everything in perspective
2019 09 01 Retrieve
[Rangers vs Celtic. Neil Lennon, however, is optimistic that his side have the potential to end that run and reassert their dominance over their neighbours] We are in powerful form, particularly going forward. The defence is looking like players are getting up to speed with how we play and more familiar with their surroundings. I’d be delighted to keep a clean sheet. I’d fancy our chances to nick a goal or two. We have a lot to look forward to going into the game
2019 09 24 Retrieve
[Celtic manager Neil Lennon has said he was disappointed to see Virgil van Dijk lose out to Lionel Messi for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award] Messi is Messi and if you look at the numbers from Messi we probably take it for granted what he does because he just does it so well on a regular basis. but I thought Virgil was the outstanding player in domestic and European football this year or the previous year or whatever way the calendar turns out, and I thought he deserved to win so I’m disappointed for him
[When asked if he believed it was harder for a defender to win the award] Probably. We’re in an era of Messi and Ronaldo and with those two, we’re lucky to have them our generation. We should enjoy them, they’ve done remarkable things and remarkable is probably an understatement when it comes to those two, but I felt as a centre-half [Van Dijk is] just outstanding in every aspect of his game
2019 11 12 Retrieve
[Neil Lennon was the manager who brought Van Dijk to the UK from Groningen in 2013] He’s the best in the world. He went on this dribble. He went past a couple and thought ‘I’m gonna hit this’. He was about 45 yards out, and it hit the bar and bounced out way beyond the box. I was like ‘that’s our centre-half there’, you know?
[Lennon remembers wondering ‘Where’s the catch?’ after his scouting team had brought him a 15-minute compilation of Van Dijk’s best bits at Groningen] Straight away, I was thinking ‘Rio Ferdinand’.
2020 02 03 Retrieve
[Neil Lennon was glowing in his assessment of Ryan Christie after Celtic’s 4-1 win against Hamilton Academical at the weekend] His energy’s fantastic, his enthusiasm’s fantastic but more than anything it’s his quality. The quality of the ball for the second goal is De Bruyne-esque. Having Ryan back after being out for almost a month is such a bonus for us. Tom Rogic came on and did a great job, Jonny Hayes did a great job, but Ryan’s having a fantastic season and we’ll see more of him as it goes on
2020 02 07 Retrieve
[Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes the form of striker Odsonne Edouard makes him a candidate to play for France at Euro 2020] It would be a huge shot in the arm for him. A huge boost. Confidence always does a player the world of good. I’m sure they are monitoring him very closely. His record with the French Under-21s is excellent. But they are the World Cup winners and have such strength in depth, so I don’t know. He’s scored in Old Firm games, cup finals and Europe. He’s done all of it. The form he is in is really helping the team. But his record in the big games is outstanding.
It’s inevitable he will attract interest. I don’t want to talk about that - I’m in a good mood! He could play in most top leagues and for most top teams, no problem at all. His potential is massive. He’s not only done it at domestic level, he’s done it at European level as well. A price tag? Don’t even ask me. Leave him be! Listen, we know he’s not going to be here forever but you’ll have to ask the board what their price on it is
[Comparisons have inevitably been drawn with Moussa Dembele] I never had the luxury or the opportunity of working with Moussa but I really liked him as a player. He was powerful, really strong and quick, a good goalscorer. Eddie is very similar but they are different types. Moussa was more of a target type, if you want to call him that, but he could go in behind as well. Eddie can do a bit of both, he can drop deep and play off the shoulder.
There’s always comparisons between players but I’m just delighted with the way he is playing and I’m delighted to be able to work with him. But it would not be fair to say one is better than the other. They are different personalities. You can see by the way he is playing he is happy and his representatives are pretty happy with the way things are going. He’s really quiet, he doesn’t give much away. But he’s a lovely boy. He looks happy. He’s just in a good place and is playing brilliant football. I’m really enjoying working with him and he is very easy to manage. We have a good relationship and I just want that to continue. At 22, he’s only going to get better
2020 02 14 Retrieve
[Odsonne Edouard: Celtic’s unstoppable force could soon be starring in the Premier League] He’s just magnificent. He was magnificent all night but second half some of his link-up play, his passing, and his finishing was just world class. He’s just an unbelievable player. Odsonne’s just a special talent
He has got that aura about him. He can play up on his own or can drop into the spaces and pockets. He’s got good feet, his link up play is getting a lot better which is really important for him. His goal tally already is fantastic
[Neil Lennon believes France National Team’s recognition is not out of the question] I’m sure they are monitoring him very closely. He’s a formidable scorer
2020 03 03 Retrieve
[Celtic boss Neil Lennon hopes Odsonne Edouard stay] I’d love to keep him. I’d give him a five-year deal tomorrow if I could, but I don’t know anything about that and I would know [if there were talks]. But, if it’s true, then brilliant. He’s improving all the time. He’s a talismanic player for us and he’s been absolutely magnificent this season but I think there’s more to come from him and I hope he’s doing that here with us. I definitely think there’s improvement in him. He can get better but he’s already a highly talented player. I think he’d be better off here. I’m sure there’s plenty of suitors so it won’t be down to my decision but I’ll do all I can to keep him. He’s not the type to be banging down your door. He seems quite happy
Odsonne’s laid back. He’s got 27 goals already this season and I think he can get to 30 comfortably and that would be a wonderful season for him but it’s not just his goals, his all-round game has been absolutely superb
2020 03 28 Retrieve
[Celtic manager Neil Lennon says Celtic players are like caged animals] They’re like caged animals. These are young, fit men who are used to an almost regimented way of living. Their routine is training and playing. All of that is gone. Some of them will be cooking for themselves for the first time in their lives. Mentally, the change can put a strain on them. They are used to intensity and suddenly it’s not there. We are very aware of the mental [health] side of this. We all need to keep our well-being in order. As long as I can get out and get some exercise for my own peace of mind then I’m fine. The silence is deafening when you go out for a walk. The place is deserted. We just have to ride it out as best we can. We are all in the same boat
I’m really missing football. I’m missing the players, the staff, the games, the colour, the noise, but it is no bad thing to take a moment and appreciate what you’ve got. I think football will mean a lot more to a lot of people when it returns. What I’m seeing now is us going back to our roots, going back to community life with people looking out for each other and maybe we hadd gone away from that. What is happening is tragic but everybody is pulling together to try to get through it and that is brilliant
2020 04 10 Retrieve
[Celtic players and management take ‘significant salary reduction’ amid coronavirus crisis] This club is all about teamwork and solidarity, on and off the park. We are well aware of the economic realities and are very willing to play our part in recognising them. We will come through this in unity and then look forward to the challenges ahead. We also know that many within society, including our own support, are facing distress and, in some cases, tragedy. Everyone at Celtic Football Club, including the players and my own backroom team, expresses our appreciation of the work being done by NHS staff, carers and all who are providing vital public services at this time
2020 05 18 Retrieve
[Lennon revels in Celtic’s ‘best’ title triumph after coronavirus ends Scottish Premiership season] To be sitting here now as the manager of the nine in a row, and having played a huge part in that, fills me with so much pride. It feels wonderful and I’m so proud of the players. It’s an incredible record and to be part of that is something very special, and I think it’s thoroughly deserved as well. It’s the best, no question it’s the best and I’ve enjoyed the season immensely. I enjoyed the European campaign and winning the League Cup and I enjoyed working with the players every day, I enjoyed working with my staff. Whether you look at the first half of the season or the second half of the season, we’ve played some brilliant football throughout, and then you throw in the European campaign, you throw in the League Cup. A lot of that gets overlooked with all that’s been going on around Scottish football of late. The style of play pleased me, the amount of goals pleased me, and we had massive contributions from numerous individual players as well
2020 06 07 Retrieve
[Neil Lennon has revealed that Celtic are in talks with rumoured Arsenal target Odsonne Edouard over a contract extension, while praising him as a top-class striker] There are discussions at the minute with his [Edouard’s] representatives. Ultimately he’s a player we want around. He’s a fantastic player. He’s really blossomed over the last couple of seasons. He had a magnificent season this year and we want to keep him. It’s as simple as that. We’re doing everything we can to keep him here for at least another season anyway. I think he is [happy]. I think he’s got a fantastic relationship certainly with me and my backroom team and his team-mates. You can see how much the supporters appreciate him as well. I think that’s reciprocated. He’s grown into a top-class striker. Of course, there is going to be speculation around a player of that quality. But we’re comfortable at the minute with the position we’re in with him
2020 06 20 Retrieve
[Celtic manager Neil Lennon has passed comment on the future of Odsonne Edouard, the club’s much-coveted forward player] Will there be bids for Odsonne? I don’t know. There’s been no bids for anyone at the minute, which is pleasing because I want to maintain the continuity
2020 06 15 Retrieve
[Neil Lennon says he saw similarities between Virgil van Dijk and ex-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand when he arrived at Celtic in 2013] He was Rio Ferdinand in the making. He had all of those attributes - he was quick, composed, brilliant in the air in both boxes. Everything you’re seeing now, at Premier League and European level, that’s what I saw. I couldn’t believe there was no English interest. I also couldn’t believe he was at Celtic for two seasons! I thought he might have gone after the first. I like finding players under the radar. Van Dijk is the standout example. He goes for £12m to Southampton, then £75m to Liverpool, and now he’s probably the best centre-half in the world. We take pride in that. We take pride in Kieran Tierney going to Arsenal for £25m. There is a lot of untapped natural talent here. Ideally, you’d love to hold on to these players because then we’d have a strong chance of achieving something in Europe.
2020 07 06 Retrieve
[Fraser Forster: Celtic chasing new goalkeeper after talks go cold] We are looking at other options. There was a deal [for Forster] agreed between the clubs but it’s gone quiet from the player’s side of things. We would dearly love him back here but if that’s not going to be the case then we’ll look elsewhere. We’re looking at a number of options on the goalkeeping front. It’s such an important position and Fraser did wonderful things for us last season. We’ve got big gloves to fill if you want to put it that way but ideally we’ll try to get an exceptional number one in again
[Lennon admits the current closed-door restrictions are frustrating his attempts to sniff out fresh recruits] It’s different. A bit fragmented obviously. We’ll probably get a fairer idea of the transfer market once the Premier League and other main leagues in Europe finish. But it’s been predominantly business as usual. We’ve got a lot of options for a lot of positions. The difficult thing is we can’t look at players live at the minute.
2020 07 06b Retrieve
[Lennon: 10th title would be monumental] We’re very excited. It’s great to have the players back the last few weeks. It’s a big season for us domestically and on the European front as well. We’ve got to just take it as the next title really. For some of the players that will come it will be the first, for some it will be the 10th, but we have to keep a balance and just say ‘look this is the next challenge to win’. There’s going to be a lot of hype surrounding it from the outside and we’ve just got to find our levels and our consistency as quickly as we possibly can. It is monumental what we’re going for but we can’t let that distract us from playing the games, and not looking too far ahead.
2020 07 17 Retrieve
[Neil Lennon blasts Leigh Griffiths for returning to Celtic overweight] I’m not happy. I think that’s fairly obvious by the fact that we’ve left him behind. He’s come back out of condition and overweight. Any physical work we asked him to do, he was coming out of saying he was injured. That’s going to be the case because he’s out of condition. It would have been absolutely pointless bringing him with us. We had an extensive week in Loughborough and he wouldn’t have been fit to play the games here. The ball is firmly in his court in terms of getting in the right condition. He needs to stop all the social media nonsense with all these slogans he puts out there. The boys here are all top professionals and I have a great staff who are all professional as well. They deserve better and he should know better. If he wants to have a future here at the club, it’s down to himself. We’re not prepared to do a lot more for him. Everything’s there for him. He’s let himself down and he’s let us down