Pressure mounts on Celtic and Neil Lennon

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Aberdeen 3-3 Celtic

It has been a week to forget for Neil Lennon and his Celtic side. A brace from Connor Goldson ensured Rangers took all three points in last weekend’s Glasgow derby. Then came a 3-1 defeat to AC Milan in a midweek Europa League clash. Celtic needed a win against Aberdeen on Sunday. With no sign of Rangers slowing down, the pressure was on Lennon’s men to pick up a win. Aberdeen’s Lewis Ferguson didn’t get the memo however, as he converted a 92nd minute penalty to tie the game.

A few eyebrows were raised when Neil Lennon took over from Brendan Rodgers back in 2019. Yet the Northern Irishman’s managerial record during his first stint at Celtic Park boasted some impressive numbers, including two Scottish Premiership titles, two Scottish Cup trophies and 70% win record. Despite his success, it was always going to be an underwhelming appointment in the eyes of Celtic fans regardless of who next sat in the hot seat. Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic team were a machine.

Ten in a Row

In any other season and in any other league, Celtic’s form would not be worthy of a paragraph in the sports section of the newspaper, let alone the main headline on the front page. But this is no ordinary season. Celtic are on track for ten in a row in terms of league titles. They are so close they can almost taste it.

It may be no coincidence that Celtic’s ‘week to forget’ coincides with start striker Odsonne Edouard’s absence due to a positive COVID-19 result. The defence took the brunt of the blame after the draw against Aberdeen as Lennon alluded to their “fragility”. Moreover, this form may simply resemble a small bump in the road to ten in a row. This time it feels different though. Take for instance the 2016/17 season under Rodgers. Celtic strolled through the campaign, remaining unbeaten and gathering a record 106 points along the way. Rangers were nowhere to be seen.

After two full seasons under his belt, Steven Gerrard is now in a strong position to put a halt to any premature celebrations from Celtic fans. His Rangers side are the only team to remain unbeaten across all top four divisions in England and Scotland. Their eyes are firmly set on the SPL title.

Celtic currently sit in second place, six points behind Rangers with a game in hand. With over half of the season still to play, a lot can happen. One thing we do know is that the pressure on Celtic and Neil Lennon won’t ease. Forget what titles are already on display in the trophy cabinet. This season’s league title has the potential to trump them all.

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