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Lennon’s green and white

By June 8, 2016No Comments

No surprise to me Neil Lennon coming in as the new manager of Hibernian.

It was something I predicted at the end of May, once it became apparent that Alan Stubbs wanted out of Easter road.

Sometimes timing, circumstance and a little bit of good fortune can work in a club and a manager’s favour.

In this case, Lennon was desperate to get back into management and, if I am going to be brutally honest about it, had it not been Hibernian, he would have been kicking his heels on the sidelines for quite a while.

The former Celtic boss has been wrongly advised over the last few years and it has impacted on his CV and his standing in the game.

You don’t leave Celtic without being poached or getting the sack. Lennon decided to leave the Premiership champions with no job offer elsewhere, which doesn’t sit well with other ambitious chairman.

In the end, again out of desperation, he was advised to go to Bolton. A club sinking so fast that rescuing BHS would have been a better option than agreeing to become the manager of this doomed championship outfit.

The one major benefit Hibs will get from hiring the sometimes controversial Northern Irishman as their new gaffer is the experience he’s had over the last six years in the dug-out.

He’s won titles, fought with other managers, received bullets in the post and been attacked on more than a few occasions. Nothing in Edinburgh will faze him.

The only problem I foresee is the backing he receives from Leeanne Dempster when the going gets tough. The Hibs chief executive is someone I rate highly but, she will be tested with the madness that can sometimes follow the colourful character that is Lennon.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell went above and beyond the call of duty backing Neil when others may have wilted and cut the umbilical chord for misdemeanours of his and others making.

As for the football, you are only as good as the players you recruit. Lennon has a good eye for a player and he can develop young talent and get older and wiser players to go that extra mile for him.

It should be a fairly smooth transition in style of play as well. Neil likes his teams to attack with pace and defend in numbers.

As a person, he is great company and very likeable. The perception and the reality are so far apart you wouldn’t believe it.

I wish him every success at Hibernian, it is a tough act to follow in Alan Stubbs. The remit for Neil is slightly different now that the Easter road club have finally won the Scottish cup.

All he has to do is win the Championship this season, he’s used to that type of pressure.

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