FORMER Celtic and Arsenal striker Charlie Nicholas says that now is the time for Celtic to dispense with Neil Lennon - arguing that the Nrthern Irishman didn't deserve to land the job in the first place.

The Parkhead boss is under some serious pressure at the moment following a run of two wins in 10 games that has seen the Glasgow club fall 11 points behind Rangers in the title race, knocked out the Betfred Cup by Ross County and with their elimination from the Europa League already mathematically confirmed.

The crisis currently gripping the Scottish champions is the most difficult part of Lennon's second spell in charge in Glasgow's east end since he replaced Brendan Rodgers as manager last year, with Celtic's quest for an historic tenth consecutive title in jeopardy like never before.


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Writing in his column in the Daily Express, Nicholas said the time had come for the Celtic heirarchy to look for Lennon's successor - adding that the club's "cheap" approach in the past has led to their current decline.

Nicholas said: "I have to go with my gut instinct and that tells me Neil Lennon's time as Celtic manager is now up. His talk over the last eight weeks has been abysmal and his choice of players and formation, or lack of it at times, has been exactly the same.

"Neil is a lucky, lucky boy to have had the privilege to manage Celtic on two occasions. On the first occasion, he didn't earn it. He got it on the back of Tony Mowbray being sacked.

"Mowbray had been made promises by the Celtic board, who are also under scrutiny now, and they reneged on them. That board didn't deliver and then turned to Lenny, ironically after a Ross County defeat.

"He did a fine job and he got them off and running towards nine-in-a-row but it was never the most taxing job in the world.

"Also, when Neil came back, he didn't earn the right to become Celtic manager.

"Neil is an old-fashioned manager and a Martin O'Neill-type, who will let his coaches get on with things. The problem that has been growing for me - and I have said it before - is the cheapness and the way Celtic go about things.

"It seems to be more relevant to the board and the controllers because they take in people like Nicky Hammond. Nicky is simply a glorified shopper for Peter Lawwell. He submits a list of players and Peter tells him which of those they can afford. Then they go to the manager but even then they don't always get what they want.

"I go back to Mowbray who wanted to make his own choices but the board wouldn't let him. I would then say that, for all the board were cheapskates for the appointment of Ronny Deila, the one thing they did was turn the corner, paying big money for Brendan Rodgers.

Glasgow Times:

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"Then when Brendan decided to go to Leicester Celtic were in a position. Lennon was conveniently available to come back in. The problem for him was that he wasn't in a position of strength when he was offered the position.

"The Celtic board knew he would be desperate for the job and wouldn't debate things too much. It was the easy option. He would accept Hammond being foisted upon him in the same way that John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan were.

"He also accepted the transfers when I said a good few weeks ago that they were the wrong players for his system. What I said was correct. I know I won't get an apology for that, but he had been picking the wrong formation for the best part of a year.

"He went to a back three after they lost to Rangers. But Celtic didn't win the league - they were handed it by Rangers.

"I have very little sympathy for Neil because he has caused his own problems. His own weakness at Celtic has now left them in this untenable position."