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:

Guillem Balague

Balague: Barca training tough

Guillem Balague says Barcelona’s stars will suffer gruelling double sessions during their week at Burton....

Ray Wilkins

Wilkins: Rooney for captain

Ray Wilkins says Wayne Rooney is the "standout candidate" for the England captaincy....

Jamie Carragher

Carra: Gerrard hard to replace

Jamie Carragher says there’s no natural replacement for Steven Gerrard in the England team....

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Liverpool land Divock Origi, Ross Barkley signs new Everton deal and Southampton insist key duo will not leave.

Barkley signs new Everton deal

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley has signed a new four-year deal with the club.

Liverpool sign Origi

Liverpool have signed Belgium striker Divock Origi from Lille for a fee of £10million.

Saints chairman: Duo staying

Jay Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin will not be sold, according to Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger.

Dzeko confirms City talks

Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko has confirmed that he is in talks about signing a new deal at the Etihad.

Features

La Liga: A look at the best buys so far in Spain

La Liga: A look at the best buys so far in Spain

The top value signings of the summer might not necessarily involve the best players. Clearly, James Rodríguez and Luis Suárez are a cut above anyone recently recruited by Real Sociedad.

In part two of his Sky Sports Fantasy Football scout report, tipster Tim Clement looks at which young stars are set to shine this season

In part two of his Sky Sports Fantasy Football scout report, tipster Tim Clement looks at which young stars are set to shine this season

There’s nothing quite like spotting a young talent set to flourish and Sky Sports Fantasy Football managers will be especially desperate to discover the next young star set to shine.

Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days

Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days

So much can change in a week of sporting action and, sure enough, there have been plenty of highs and lows over the past seven days.