Regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s first league meeting of the season between Celtic and Rangers, hierarchy, players and supporters should be appreciative of their managers.
In Neil Lennon, Celtic have a successful operator who has the mentality and ability to handle being in charge of such a high-profile, and pressurised, position.
Across the city, Rangers have Steven Gerrard in place and he has proven to be an astute young manager, with a solid future in the game.
Yet, there are times when they don’t get the recognition or credit they deserve.
But that can be the way of the world, unfortunately. People seem to take more time and effort to criticise and find fault, rather than find words of praise when good things have been achieved.
Looking more closely at Neil’s record at Celtic in his second stint in charge, he has been great for the club.
Brendan Rodgers was a box-office appointment and he had the Celtic fans eating out the palm of his hand from day one, and he delivered in his first season with the Treble and an Invincible domestic campaign.
He chose to go back to England early in 2019 to take over at Leicester City.
Celtic turned to Neil and he delivered success by getting the League title over the line and then the Scottish Cup for another Treble.
In his previous role, Neil had worked wonders at Hibernian but some may well have been surprised that the Hoops hierarchy turned to him to succeed Brendan.
But he has repaid their faith.
Sure, he hasn’t managed to get over the line by qualifying for the Champions League. But he has delivered Europa League football and got to the final-32 last season.
Winning 10-in-a-row will be the ultimate aim for Neil in the next eight months and rightly so. It’s what the supporters want, above all else.
However, he faces a formidable opponent in Steven.
That’s exactly what makes this season one that we will not want to take our eyes off of.
Steven knows the importance of winning a trophy for Rangers and delivering the League this season, for obvious reasons.
Eyebrows may well have been raised when Rangers appointed him in the summer of 2018 because of his lack of managerial experience.
But he knows the game inside out and because of his outstanding playing career with Liverpool, his appointment captured the imagination of the footballing world.
Considering what he inherited at Ibrox, I think he has delivered very well and has got the club much, much closer to Celtic. They are proper challengers now.
He has brought European group-stage football to Ibrox for the third season on the trot. That’s a brilliant achievement.
However, all that matters in the next few days is the Old Firm game, and it is going to be a cracker. Even without supporters inside Parkhead, it will still hold sensational appeal and atmosphere.
Neither manager will want to lose and, on current form, both will fancy their chances of victory.
They know they will need a team effort to get three points. But Neil will look to the likes of Scott Brown and Shane Duffy to lead by example and Steven will demand the same from James Tavernier and Ryan Kent.
If there is a winner, the victorious manager will be a hero. The losing gaffer might not be so popular.
However, before anybody criticises, be careful what you wish for and be thankful for the guy you do have in charge.
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