Neil Lennon has stepped down from his position as manager of Celtic Football Club. The news comes this morning following talks that the board had finally reached the decision that the Irishman would need to be replaced at the hilt of the club.
Assistant manager John Kennedy will step in as interim manager until a replacement is found. Lennon departs after winning five league titles, four Scottish Cups and one Scottish League Cup over the course of his two-part tenure with the club.
Would Rafa Benitez be a good replacement for Neil Lennon?
Despite taking the Hoops to the historic ‘quadruple treble’, it has not been enough to cement his place at Parkhead. The reigning Premiership champions have fallen a huge 18 points behind runaway leaders Rangers this season and will see their crown handed over to their bitter neighbours and rivals.
No direct replacement for Lennon has been outlined, but the Daily Record reports that team captain Scott Brown could be set to take on a backroom staff role at the end of the season.
What next for Celtic?
If Brown decides to hang up his boots and move into a more behind the scenes role at Celtic, it paves the way for Callum McGregor to step into the captain’s armband.
Talks have emerged over this transition happening organically following the inevitable-looking departure of Brown at the end of the campaign. His contract is due to run out and so far, no new deal has been tabled to extend his time as a player. Should the 33-year-old take on a backroom position with Celtic, then surely McGregor will be presented with the armband ready to kick off what simply must be a strong 2021/22 season for the Bhoys.
The £5.8million-rated midfielder has been an ever-present figure in Lennon’s team this season. On 14 occasions, he was named captain in Brown’s absence amid some radical changes to the starting lineup, as per Transfermarkt.
A new era is dawning in Glasgow and a lot of changes are afoot. Celtic must find an improvement on Lennon and see that McGregor embarks upon this new chapter as a capable and influential leader of a club known for its rich history. It’s a very exciting time for the Scotland international, albeit a perhaps bittersweet moment overall.
In other news, Callum McGregor was rare positive for Celtic vs Ross County…