By Graham Barnstaple
May 9 2012
Celtic’s Neil Lennon has won a two out of three of the Major end of season awards with Derek Adams picking up the other, does Lennon deserve the title?
Lennon has won the Football Writers and the Clydesdale Bank awards for Manager of the Year, whileRossCounty’s Derek Adams picked up the PFA’s award.
The selection of Lennon appears to follow a modern trait that whoever wins the SPL title is awarded the title of Manager of the Year. This never appears to take into account the work put in by other managers on much less resources.
Let’s look at Lennon’s seasons against the expectations of his employers. His targets would have been at least to have won the League, which he did. He would also be expected to do well in the domestic Cups, losing to Killie in the League Cup Final and then to Hearts in the Scottish Cup semi would not see that target met.
InEuropehe would have been expected to have reached the group stages of the Europa League, which he did. This was only after Swiss side Sion were thrown out for playing ineligible players, otherwise this would not have been met either! I don’t remember any talk of a tainted progression from the Celtic support on this one.
Therefore it would be fair to say this has been a bit of a poor season for Lennon, particularly as the season went on. He even claimed the ref had denied them a treble by not awarding a penalty in the League Cup Final. They didn’t even clinch the double!
Who was more fitting of the award, well there are a number of candidates;
Stuart McCall – took Motherwell to third in the table, effectively winning their own League with what was possibly the smallest squad in the SPL. This of course has led to Champions League Qualification
Peter Houston – overcame the loss of half his squad pre-season, and rebuilt a side which finished fourth and qualified for the Europa League.
Derek Adams – deserved the PFA award for the work he did atRossCounty, after a spell at Hibs as assistant to Colin Calderwood. Run away winners of the First Division ahead of much more fancied clubs like Falkirk andDundee.
I personally would have given it to McCall for his work on a shoe string budget, and a squad which has arguably less quality than any of the top six.