Charlie Nicholas has told Sky Sports that he would have preferred his old club Celtic hired a manager like Slaven Bilic this summer, but admitted that Neil Lennon deserved to get the permanent role.
Lennon was offered the job beyond the end of the season after clinching a treble treble with Celtic. He oversaw the Hoops come from behind to beat Hearts 2-1, thanks to a brace from Odsonne Edouard at Hampden Park.
Lennon was in charge for 14 matches in what is his second spell as Celtic gaffer, losing only once to Old Firm rivals Rangers. Most importantly, he continued Celtic’s pursuit of 10 in a row.
However, former Celtic star Nicholas wanted someone like ex-West Ham United, Croatia and Besiktas boss Bilic. But he does understand that Lennon deserves the job, given his work since taking over at a difficult time.
“I didn’t think it was the right decision,” Nicholas said. “I would’ve went for something a little bit different. I was looking at somebody like Bilic or someone that might have a different creative [approach] but Neil did a fabulous sit-in for Brendan Rodgers.
“He’s earned the right to take the position. He’s not agreed it yet, I know that, but I think Neil will be looking forward to it.”
Nicholas has a point. Though Lennon has done an excellent role in a difficult job, which saw him have to manage expectations set by Rodgers, going forward it could backfire.
That is because Celtic now have a crucial summer ahead of them. Lennon, though a Celtic legend, he hardly has the calibre as a manager to attract the best possible players to Parkhead this summer.
But having someone such as Bilic in charge could attract a bigger calibre of player. It remains to be seen how successful Celtic will be in the transfer window this summer.