Telling Uncle Walter to take a hike

Published on Saturday 1st May, 2010 by Celtic Trust

The ‘magnificent one’ who plies his trade for the team of Catalan Republicans against Madrid’s royalist mob rarely speaks about other teams. There is however one memorable exception. Commentating on the nauseating mediocrity of Uncle Wattie’s team after they were humiliated by Barcelona in the Champion’s League, Messi was driven to accuse them of the cardinal sin of being ‘anti football.’ - couldn’t be clearer really. Messi was just saying, with typical Latin American flair, what the slightly more subdued Northern European Andy Hinkel had merely hinted at. The alternative view of the outrageous attack by ‘Uncle Wattie’ on the ‘professionalism’ of the Celtic squad and Neil Lennon’s reaction to it was captured by Hugh MacDonald writing in The Herald. MacDonald suggested that Lennon’s rebuke of Smith had not only increased his standing amongst independent observers but also revealed ‘a personality of substantial stature.’ Commenting on the fact that, amongst SPL managers and officials, Smith is often seen as something special or someone to be feared, MacDonald said that Lennon showed no sign of grovelling before Smith, but rather stood his ground and ‘told uncle Walter to take a hike!’ There is no doubt that Mac Donald is the most astute and erudite commentator on Scottish football writing today. Quite simply he is light years beyond the rent-a-quote mob of Hateley and others. Bearing this in mind the Celtic Board should consider the following as something of a character reference when deciding on Lenny’s suitability. “Lennon showed he will not be spooked by the Celtic job. There is no fear in him when he talks to the players. There is no anxiety either when he talks to the press. . . . . Lennon reads the papers. He will speak out against treatment he considers unfair but he will not avoid a question. He is sure of who he is and what he wants to say.” Sure of who he is and what he wants to say? That sounds suspiciously like what we require in the Manager’s Office at Celtic Park. Someone who is proud of the club and knows what it stands for; someone who will fight for the club because he knows the club is worth fighting for; a man who the fans know and love and who has served this club through thick and thin. The Board need to appoint him now and the fans need to let the Board know that we will support them in this decision throughout the coming season come what may.

Tags: SPL

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