Everton Manager Candidates: Neil Lennon

Jeff J Mitchell

As the managerial search continues, we look at the current Celtic boss and his pros and cons. Although he isn't amongst the Everton fan favourites by a long way, he is still branded around amongst the boommakers at surprisingly good odds.

In 2010, Neil Lennon took the Celtic job after Tony Mowbray left for Middlesborough. Since then, Lennon has never been loved by many fans in Scotland. He is a bullish tactician who attempts to cause a stir in most of his press conferences before and after games. But his passion has seen his team come through some biggish games in recent years, none more so than the small game against Barcelona. His most recent success at Celtic was the SPL title, but earlier in the season, and maybe his biggest success, was Celtic's deserved progression in the Champions league group stages, which included 2-1 wins against Barcelona and Spartak Moscow.

Is he what we need at Everton? In some ways yes he is. He hasn't only ensured his team make the champions league, as expected, but he pushed his side through some games in which they couldn't have been anymore of an underdog. They progressed through a very tough group which included of course Barcelona, Spartak Moscow and the Europa league finalists, Benfica. Their side going into this years Champions league wasn't seen as capable, but players such as Gary Hooper and Anthony Stokes were able to flourish under Lennon's tactics and management.

Although he isn't the fans favorite to take over the manager post here at Everton, he may offer us that bit of bite and positive football that Moyes didn't so much implement as one of his main tactics. Lennon is very forceful in his ways. He seems to get the best out of the majority of his players. Above all, he continues to give what is expected of him and his team by winning the League title and giving a certain threat in the European competitions.

Neil Lennon also has a decent win percentage of just below 70% which includes Champions League, Scottish Cup and Scottish Premier League games. Lennon's attacking setup is also supported by the fact that they have an average of 14.8 shots per game, with 7.2 of those on target. They also have scored 32 of their current SPL goals from within the 18 yard box, showing they are a creative side in and around the right areas. Of 72% of their goals scored, the biggest chunk of them, at 14%, have been scored between 15-30th minute and another 14% between the 60th and 75th minute, this shows they are a team that score goals at crucial points in games, when either trying to get the first goal of a game or trying to take the initiative towards the end of a match.

If you were to ask me if I would be happy with Neil Lennon getting the job, I would have to say no. He simply hasn't got the right experience that will be required to try and fill the shoes of Moyes. He seems very hot headed (excuse the pun) and from what I've seen, he gets into press battles that certainly takes focus off his actual job and that is not what we need. He hasn't had a managerial job before the Celtic appointment and therefore hasn't had much competition in the SPL with Rangers being relegated being liquidated (Ed. Note: The assets were then bought out by a new company and the new club started back in the Scottish Third Division). Having said all that, when given the opportunity in Europe he has surpassed any expectations given to him and beaten one of the biggest teams in the world with an average squad, and that, I think, will certainly be highlighted when his CV was handed to Mr. Kenwright.

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