The news that Bolton Wanderers have appointed former Celtic manager Neil Lennon as their new manager has not gone unnoticed at News.Ladbrokes and while the ex-Bhoys man brings plenty of trophy-winning experience from his time in Scotland, we think it could be a job too far at the Macron.
Bottom of the pile in the Championship following a return of just five points from their first 11 domestic fixtures this term, the 5/4 offered on the Trotters taking a trip down to League One next season looks an increasingly tempting prospect with Lennon at the helm.
Here are the five reasons we think Lennon + Bolton = relegation for the ex-Premier League side.
A potentially difficult transition
Lennon’s only experience as a manager has come with Celtic – a team used to winning silverware every season and who in recent years has faced little or no competition domestically.
The Championship is an altogether different beast, with a busy fixture list full of games against teams of similar stature. Gordon Strachan – a more experienced manager than Lennon – endured a nightmare after swapping Glasgow for Middlesbrough and a similar story could follow here.
A bloated and struggling squad
You don’t have to be an expert to see that Bolton’s squad is in dire need of a trim – a quick look at the club’s Wikipedia page reveals a roster of 50 players – but Lennon has little time to decide who is in and who is out and it could take some time before he finds his starting eleven.
Does he opt with misfiring Jermaine Beckford or forgotten man Craig Davies up front, for instance? Is either option a good one? With many players on big wages and others happy to sit on the bench, a negative vibe is likely to pervade until certain individuals are shipped off.
A poor starting position at the club
Bottom of the table and with just one win to their name in the league so far this season, things can’t get much worse for Bolton at present. Or at least that is what you would have thought a couple of weeks ago, with the Trotters currently on a run of five straight defeats.
Some had hoped Dougie Freedman’s departure would have boosted the team but after a 2-1 loss at home to a 10-man Bournemouth team, it’s question as to whether the arrival of Lennon will provide any kind of lift to a team with a record worse than Blackpool’s!
A history of hit-and-miss transfers
While Neil Lennon can count the likes of Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama in his list of canny acquisitions, his time at Celtic was littered with no shortage of big-money failures the likes of which would not be tolerated at Bolton.
From the £2.2m acquisition of Mo Bangura – a striker who played just 12 times for the Bhoys before leaving on a free – to the mismanagement and eventual release of star-in-the-making Tony Watt – Lennon could find life tough south of the border.
A track record for losing his cool
Though the Celtic job comes with certain pressures, the reality is that quite often when the going got tough at the club, Lennon would get going – in all the wrong kind of ways.
Whether it’s snarling at Ally McCoist on the touchline or throwing a tantrum when a decision has not gone the way of the financially-superior Celtic, it does not take much for Lennon to lose his cool. Throw him in at the deep-end of a Championship relegation dog-fight and he may just sink.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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