When threatened by threats in the form of packages of live bullets and bombs in mail and finally a real, physical attack on Lennon – they have been in the circle of wagons and the support that met in what sometimes is literally a massive huddle around the administrator.
Rod Stewart, ever the man for a gesture without pretensions, continued his own banner when it hired a plane flying over Pak Hampden, carrying a message which read: “In Lennon trust.”
At the time when the plane passed no one knew if it was a prediction on the outcome of the game or coverage against defeat, but half an hour or so in the competition of the crowd, including Stewart, could quite guess how matters unfold.
Lennon and his rebuilt team have learned – especially the hard way: how tantalisingly may well be the dividing line between success and failure. This time the destination was assigned in a span of two minutes which saw a shot hit the net and other bounce off the crossbar.
Motherwell won the former and Celtic have been forced to accept the rebound, Lennon and his players would have been subjected to another rigorous test of character.
However, Ki Sung-Yeung supplied the opening goal for Celtic with a spectacular drive of distance to beat Darren Randolph, while Gavin Gunning has spent the weekend playing the equally vivacious effort and thinking about what could have been had his shot was only a fraction lower.
In 1-0, the Court had delivered its verdict, although Motherwell appealed strongly for much of the remainder of the proceedings.
Not, however, could make a case to confuse the defense of the Celtic and with 15 minutes remaining attempted a bold stroke, when Stuart McCall withdrew Jamie Murphy and sent to Francis Jeffers, exchanging his midfield of five men for a 4-4-2 implementation.
Initial training of McCall had been designed to obtain the reward than I expected would be pushing a flexible 4-5-1 – or 4-1 – 4-1, according to the taste: changing land – 3 in the attack, with Murphy and Chris Humphrey along the flanks.
The plan collapsed in the inability of Murphy to go beyond the irreducible Mark Wilson, while Humphrey was heavily involved in an exercise of cancellation of departure with another full support Celtic, Emilio Izaguirre.
Those who say that they deplore the tendency of teams to adopt in layers of defense against opponents superiors could reflect on what happened as soon as Motherwell changed to a more expansive training. Wilson was able to get a shot that almost every day would have done no harm but which omitted Stephen Craig forward and across the line.
Final shot of Charlie Mulgrew free, which omits diving agitated of Randolph as fizzed past the beaten goalkeeper, was garrison. Even before the hit home Lennon was entitled to consider the possibility of a future enlarged at Celtic Park.
This week, probably on Tuesday: he will sit down with his staff behind the scenes to complete its analysis of the season. It could have been contemplating a sterile and, as Lennon campaign observed on Friday, that circumstance would have led to “the finger was pointed out”, even in the context of sympathy widespread by the resistance of the administrator of potentially lethal threats to their safety and that of his family.
Now, with Celtic won the Scottish Cup for a record of time 35 and to get the monkey’s failure to win games that mattered, Lennon has the right to present a significantly positive account of his achievements. Low Mowbray, Celtic turned into mush, easily mopped by Rangers.
Lennon has been strengthened, regrouped and built a side which was wired in three national tournaments. Players are quick to pronounce declarations bland loyalty to administrators when the situation is good, but Lennon seem to command a tangible commitment to his squad, which goes beyond the short-termism which dictates routinely the reasons for the players.
“Administrator is an incredible person and the coach,” said Daniel Majstorovic. “Really deserved this success with all those – which carries of the season.”
“He is the man for this job.” Neil knows the club and who knows the mentality. We all work hard for him, and he is the right man. You can see.
“It is difficult to understand what happens to us players when we are not involved.” Just want to enjoy football and work with football every day, not to meet all those.
“It is strange and has nothing to do with football, but the way in he has handled and the way in which the club has handled it is pretty amazing and I’m very happy for him.”
Lennon now wants Izaguirre and Beram Kayal sign extended contracts as it builds a nucleus of reliable interpreters who have experienced the trial by fire.
An Old Firm rookie Manager is in the city, but this time it is Ally McCoist and not Lennon, a fact which exposes both men to imperatives fresh and fascinating.
- 2011 Of the Scottish Cup final: report 3 Motherwell 0 Celtic party Hug Chief: Neil Lennon is hoisted aloft by his Celtic...
- Touchline ban Celtic manager Neil Lennon cut as FA Scottish cave Several prohibitions: Neil Lennon, Manager of Celtic, gives instructions from...
- ‘ Dark day ‘ of Scottish football as Celtic manager Neil Lennon attacked by fan during SPL match against hearts ‘ Four minutes in the second half, with Gary Hooper have...
- ‘ Dark day ‘ of Scottish football as Celtic manager Neil Lennon attacked by fan of hearts ‘ Fan time onto the field and went to Lennon before...
- 2011 Of the Scottish Cup final: Motherwell v Celtic – player ratings Emilio IzaguirreAs always, it wore better now that defense but...