Blogs & Opinion


Celtic manager Neil Lennon has every right to expect more from squad players, says Andy Walker

Andy Walker - Andy Walker Posted 29th October 2012 view comments

Celtic have a mouth-watering return clash with Barcelona in the Champions League shortly but before one of the world's greatest sides travel to Glasgow, Neil Lennon has to take his men to Tannadice on league business for what is always an entertaining contest.

Dundee Utd host Celtic live on Sky Sports this weekend and given their inconsistent domestic form of late, there's every chance Peter Houston's men could end up with all three points.

In the absence of a serious title challenge from Rangers this season, Celtic's SPL form has been very unpredictable.

Andy Walker: the teenager has has made a marvellous contribution so far, says Andy

Andy Walker: the teenager has has made a marvellous contribution so far, says Andy

After a recent defeat to St Johnstone on their travels, Kilmarnock are the latest club to cause an upset against the SPL champions with their first victory at Celtic Park since 1955.

Neil Lennon described it as one of the poorest displays from his side since he took over from Tony Mowbray and one of the biggest problems he has is not knowing what to expect from so many of his fringe players.

But with a big squad of players, Neil Lennon is entitled to expect a lot more from fringe players with a point to prove.

Andy Walker
Quotes of the week

As fourth seeds in the Champions League group, I think Celtic have been very impressive so far against quality opposition. It was the same in the qualifying games for Europe's premier club competition.

But it's also fair to say that in too many domestic games this season, Celtic have lacked a little professionalism with players being guilty of a poor attitude.

If Celtic aren't up for the game on Sunday at Tannadice, Peter Houston's men are sure to take advantage.

Contribution

Having reached the Champions League, Celtic are giving their supporters exactly the type of edge and excitement they've been craving for this season in the absence of a real title challenge from Rangers.

For the home clash against Barcelona, it's obvious that Neil Lennon won't venture too far from the group of players who came so close to securing an unlikely point in the Nou Camp.

But with a big squad of players, Neil Lennon is entitled to expect a lot more from fringe players with a point to prove.

It's fair to say some of them have been posted missing so far.

For example, Miku was signed on a year-long loan deal from Spanish side Getafe in August and has struggled to make any sort of impact so far.

Given that the former Valencia striker has 40 caps for Venezuela and has a couple of goals to his credit against the likes of Real Madrid, it was reasonable to think he could take some of the pressure away from Liverpool transfer target Gary Hooper.

Another new face with La Liga experience has been Tunisian Lassad.

After signing a two-year deal, it was expected that he too would bolster Neil Lennon's attacking options.

But so far, both payers with such a notable pedigree have failed to shine.

In contrast 18-year-old Tony Watt has made a marvellous contribution since he was given a chance due to Antony Stokes injury. The former Airdrie man cost just £80,000 but has already shown an appetite and desire to contribute with three goals already this season.

It's that type of attitude that the Celtic supporters admire and much more should be expected of Neil Lennon's fringe players.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Redknapp

Redknapp: Costa's made a difference

Diego Costa has shown the impact he can have at Chelsea, but injuries are a worry, says Jamie Redknapp....

Gary Neville

Neville: Arsenal must sign a striker

Arsenal must sign a replacement for injured Olivier Giroud if they want to win the title, says Gary Neville....

Jeff Stelling

Stelling: Fears for Leeds

Jeff Stelling is worried that headline-making Leeds could end up slipping back into League One. ...

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Man Utd agree deal for Daley Blind, Loic Remy set for Chelsea talks, while Liverpool's Daniel Agger is linked with Brondby.

Premier League preview

Chelsea travel to Everton for Saturday Night Football, while Super Sunday features Tottenham against Liverpool and Leicester versus Arsenal.

United in talks with Blind

Manchester United have begun talks with Daley Blind after agreeing a fee with Ajax.

Saturday football live!

Get score updates, breaking team news, video and analysis from the Premier League and beyond.

Mourinho hails Destro talent

Jose Mourinho praised Mattia Destro amid reports the Chelsea manager is lining up a move for the Roma striker.

Features

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Everyone agreed that Tottenham had acquired some fine players in the summer of 2013, but the notorious line that Spurs sold Elvis to buy the Beatles soon became a source of embarrassment. Not least because that cast young Erik Lamela as John Lennon, the most celebrated of the lot.

Analysis: Everton's signing of Samuel Eto'o can be significant on and off the pitch for Roberto Martinez's side

Analysis: Everton's signing of Samuel Eto'o can be significant on and off the pitch for Roberto Martinez's side

Saturday’s opponents Chelsea might have expected Everton’s Romelu Lukaku to come back to haunt them, but Jose Mourinho surely thought he’d seen the back of Samuel Eto’o. Instead he’s back in the Premier League and eyeing another challenge in his remarkable career.

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

When it comes to the art of signing players, few did it better than Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. In the latter’s book With Clough by Taylor he explained some of the science behind it in detailing how Nottingham Forest actively sought to buy players they perceived to have personal problems.