Celtic: Andy Walker and Kris Boyd assess Celtic's struggles and the rebuild job ahead

Andy Walker: "Whatever you think about Celtic, a lot of people will realise that this is the end of an era."; Kris Boyd: "It's an amazing opportunity for someone to come in, with so many people looking to move on, to build his own squad."

Neil Lennon's Celtic are 20 points behind league leaders Rangers
Image: Neil Lennon shows his frustration during Celtic's 2-2mdraw at Livingston

It's the end of an era at Celtic, who face a tough rebuild job after their struggles this season, according to the panel on the Sky Sports Scottish Football podcast.

Celtic's difficult campaign continued on Wednesday when they dropped points for the fourth match in succession following a 2-2 draw at Livingston.

It leaves under-pressure Neil Lennon and his side, who do have two games in hand, 20 points behind runaway Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers and their dreams of 10 league titles in a row in tatters.

Ian Crocker was joined by Andy Walker and Kris Boyd to discuss the latest Scottish Premiership action, including Celtic's winless run and what the future might hold for the Hoops...

Download the Sky Sports Scottish Football Podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox | Spreaker

The end of an era at Celtic?

Image: Scott Brown is sent off against Livingston

Andy Walker on the Sky Sports Scottish Football podcast

"It's going to be a really long season for Celtic supporters.

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"We are in January, the league has long gone and they are just wondering what will happen at the club in the near future.

"Whatever you think about Celtic, a lot of people will realise that this is the end of an era. The quadruple treble and the astonishing Invincible season, they are now just great memories.

"So, you have to think, what do you do now?

"This team will break up and that's going to be an astonishing job to rebuild. I don't know who will be doing the rebuilding and right now, I don't think anyone knows what sort of finances will be involved in the game.

SPFL Livingstone v Celtic 3:04
Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Livingston and Celtic

"The big problem now that Celtic will realise is you are asking supporters to buy into something that's broken for next season.

"They are looking at players who won't be there, the loan players, for example, like Diego Laxalt, Shane Duffy and Mohamed Elyounoussi.

"The reality of the harsh financial landscape will kick in - how will that affect others? Maybe that means players that Celtic don't want to lose will then be open to offers, just to get money in. Celtic are like any other club, they are being affected financially.

"So it's going to be a long number of months before the end of the season. I think you always have to regard a change as an opportunity, but I don't know who it will fall for."

Celtic's winless run...

Celtic's failure to win at Livingston means Neil Lennon's side have failed to win in four league games in a row for the first time since April 2000.

Boyd on Celtic: 'The title race is over'

Image: Neil Lennon's Celtic are 20 points behind league leaders Rangers

Kris Boyd on the Sky Sports Scottish Football podcast:

"I've said that [the title race is over] for a couple of months and people were laughing at me.

"All I heard was 'once Celtic click into gear, they'll get back to where they were'. The signs were there early doors that there was something that was not quite clicking.

"We can say what we want about the fans not being in, it's the same for every club.

LIVINGSTON, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 20: Celtic manager Neil Lennon during a Scottish Premiership match between Livingston and Celtic at the Tony Macaroni Arena, on January 20, 2021, in Livingston, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group) 4:02
Former Celtic defender Gary Caldwell believes manager Neil Lennon should not take all of the blame for their struggles this season

"The biggest disappointment for Celtic in terms of everything that was a stake this year, you go into the start of the season and you are out of the Champions League and the Europa League. Going back to that, there's a way to go out of a competition. When you think of the amount of goals Celtic conceded and the way they were eliminated from the competition, it was poor. And, it's just carried on.

"Every single Celtic fan was geared towards this 10 in a row and we can look at it whichever way we want to look at it, but it's not even the end of January and it's over.

"I can't see a way back into it for Celtic and I just don't know where they go. Do you continue with this, do you change it, do you bring someone in to try and recalibrate everything?"

I won't walk away, absolutely not. I've put too much into this. Too much of my life. And a month ago we won the treble. If the club have to make a decision then they have to make a decision. You're asking the wrong guy about my position.
Neil Lennon on his Celtic future

'Celtic squad rebuild a massive job'

The Celtic players look dejected after conceding late on in the contest
Image: The rebuild job at Celtic is massive, according to the Sky Sports Scottish Football podcast panel

Kris Boyd on the Sky Sports Scottish Football podcast:

"Looking at the Celtic squad right now, and we all know the financial muscle Celtic have got, but I don't think any of the goalkeepers are up to it. You then look at the back and there's so many of them there that will probably move on.

"You could have looked at it for a number of years and said you could build a team around certain individuals. As it stands, I'm probably only looking at David Turnbull as a guarantee he is going to be at Celtic for his long-term future.

"Nobody thought Kieran Tierney would have moved on, so people like Callum McGregor might say 'you know what, I've done all I'm going to do in Scottish football, I want to go and test myself in England against the best'. People like Ryan Christie as well and Scott Brown is not getting any younger. When you look at them, they are the ones you want to build a team around and you can bring in another five or six.

Everyone needs to pick themselves up, dig in deeper and work hard. There is always the next game. We have to keep looking forward and approach every game with positivity.
Mohamed Elyounoussi

"Now though, Celtic are going to need 10 plus players and again.

"When you go through the whole process and structure of what's going on at Celtic at this moment in time, when you see the money that has been wasted on transfers already and then you are saying go and recruit 10 or 12 players, I don't think I would trust anybody to go and spend the money.

"I think Celtic are in a very difficult situation right now. It's all well and good having the money there but when you went and spent it on players that have not, so far, shown that they are up to it."

Celtic's next game?

Celtic are back in action next Wednesday when the face Hamilton in the Scottish Premiership; kick-off 7.45pm.

What next for Celtic?

Neil Lennon is a 'fighter' and will not quit his role as Celtic boss amid a run of poor form, says the club's former defender Mark Wilson

Kris Boyd on the Sky Sports Scottish Football podcast

"There are lots of things going on in that Celtic squad.

"For me, Turnbull is the only one you could hang your hat on that is absolutely guaranteed to be there at pre-season for Celtic next year.

"Everybody else, if someone comes in, there will be negotiations to take place and you cannot blame them. The goldfish bowl of Glasgow and everything you have to put up with is not easy to deal with on a regular basis so you have to take your hats off to the guys who have been there over the course and distance.

preview image 0:25
Celtic loanee Mohamed Elyounoussi says the squad and coaching staff will stick together and 'keep fighting', with the club 20 points behind Rangers in the league table with 16 games remaining

"Would anybody want the Celtic job right now?

"You know what it's like in Glasgow, people are pretty quick to make up their minds and if a new manager is to come in and he can't get a tune out of this bunch of players between now and the end of the season, all of a sudden, the pressure is on him to deliver straight away.

"It is an amazing opportunity for someone to come in, with so many people looking to move on, to build his own squad. But when you go into a club as a new manager, sometimes you get that bounce, but if you do not get it out of a bunch of serial winners who are coming to the end, then you are under pressure the next season right away."


Also on the podcast...

Livingston manager David Martindale
Image: Livingston have equalled their club record of eight top division matches without defeat under manager David Martindale

The panel discuss David Martindale's outstanding start to life as boss at Livingston, why the signs are good for Rangers boss Steven Gerrard, plus a promising beginning for Motherwell under Graham Alexander. Also what clubs could do transfer business before deadline day and we put your questions to the panel.

Download the Sky Sports Scottish Football Podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox | Spreaker

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