Celtic manager Neil Lennon has said that Virgil van Dijk deserved FIFA’s Best Player of the Year award ahead of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi based on the domestic and European performances last term. The Dutch defender helped Liverpool preserve the best defence across Europe’s top-five leagues last season and he was able to end the campaign on a high with the Reds winning the Champions League.
As such, the Netherlands international was recently presented with the UEFA Player of the Year award and he could not dislodge Messi in the race for FIFA’s individual accolade. Speaking to reporters, Lennon said that Messi’s record cannot be ignored, considering the Argentine has been constantly scoring loads of goals for the Blaugrana.
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Celtic head coach Neil Lennon has indicated that Arsenal may walk away from the pursuit of Kieran Tierney after failing to reach a transfer agreement. The north London side recently made a renewed £25m bid for the Scotland international but the structure of the proposal has not gone well with the Hoops.
Speaking in a press conference, Lennon acknowledged that the Gunners have not come up with a third offer for the defender and there remains the strong chance that Tierney would remain with the club for the forthcoming campaign, he said:“It’s as you were really. I’ve had no information other than there were two bids that came in from Arsenal that were rejected. There has been no further inroads into that really.
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Celtic boss Neil Lennon praised his team after claiming a crucial victory over Dundee. Odsonne Edouard came up with a goal in the 96th minute of the match to beat Dundee and open up a 10-point advantage at the top of the SPL for Celtic. Lennon was extremely pleased with the victory as it took full advantage of the Rangers dropping points at home against Kilmarnock. There was expectation from Celtic about a comfortable victory in this match since Dundee have been struggling at the bottom end of the table for most of the season. The opponents were just one point ahead of the bottom coming into the match.
However, they put in a resolute defensive display and Celtic’s mediocre away form so far this season also started to rear the ugly head. Just when it seemed that Celtic were about to drop points for an eighth away match,Edouard was able to come up with this crucial goal. James Forrest was influential in helping Edouard get this going after playing a one-two in a tight spot. After the game, Lennon claimed that patience from the team was a key factor in getting this victory. Hearts and Kilmarnock were also defeated by Celtic in similar fashion, and Lennon is very happy to see the team going with belief until the final whistle.
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Former Celtic manager Ronny Deila believes Brendan Rodgers should have stuck with Celtic rather than pursue the challenge with Leicester City. The Northern Irishman has won the treble with the Hoops in the past two seasons and he was on course to replicate the same this term before making the surprise switch to the east Midlands.
Speaking on the Celts Are Here website, Deila admitted that the departure was disappointing for the Celtic point of view, given Rodgers had done a tremendous job by guiding the team to every domestic accolade within grasp. He added that the former Liverpool boss could have done better than the Foxes and perhaps waited for an elite club from the Premier League.
“I’m very sad for Celtic because he did an unbelievably good job. It’s important to have consistency at the club – especially Celtic who are going for ten in a row,” said Deila, who is now managing Valerenga in Norway. “I think he’s so good he could have managed a top four or five club down south straight from Celtic and not went to Leicester. I was surprised.”
With the departure of Rodgers, Celtic were quick to announce Neil Lennon as the interim boss for the campaign and they have since secured back-to-back triumphs over Hearts and Hibernian. As such, they are on course to secure the Scottish Premiership title for the eighth league title on the bounce with a six-point advantage over second-placed Rangers with 10 games remaining.
Elsewhere, Rodgers did not enjoy the best of beginnings with Leicester after they suffered a late 2-1 defeat against Watford on the road. For the current weekend, the Foxes are scheduled to entertain Fulham at the King Power Stadium and the match could offer Rodgers with a maiden triumph at the club, given the Cottagers’ poor defensive record over the course of the campaign.