Last night, Neil Lennon achieved a Champions League first for Celtic. An away win in the group stages of the tournament is a pivotal moment in Celtic’s progression under Neil Lennon.
The club have pursued this result under Martin O’Neill and Gordon Strachan, but it is Neil Lennon who has broke the mould. It is anything but ironic though that Lennon was a pupil of both former managers.
Martin took Celtic further than most imagined in Europe, Strachan took that a bit further with a visibly much smaller budget by making the last sixteen of the Champions Cup. After a steep learning curve for Lennon he has made his own mark with his own players.
It has taken the club a long time to get that away win we all desired. We waited a similar amount of time to get into the Champions League group stage for the first time when Martin O’Neill took us there.
Since then our appetite for Europe has remained. Last seasons results in the Europa League were a important step in improving this squads credentials.
They don’t give up even when they are down. They make mistakes but they will fight back.
Gordon Strachan taught his players to maintain their fitness for 90 minutes. It’s evident that Lennon has adopted some of that in his own football philosophy.
I admire that because he learned as much from Gordon as he did from Martin. Martin was a fighter and we all adored that and if I had the ability to splice genes I would love to see what an O’Neill/Strachan chimera would look like?
Perhaps its Neil Lennon.