Resolute Neil Lennon has every right to stand his ground.
If Celtic want change, it’s down to Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell to make it.
There seems no way of Neil managing to get through this current malaise. In my eyes, it’s too far gone.
The brief flurry before Christmas has evaporated. Seven wins in the last 22 games tells you everything you need to know.
But do you know what? I don’t blame Neil for fighting on. He was a ferocious competitor as a player who never gave up. It was his greatest strength and why the Celtic support adored him.
So why are we expecting him to show a different characteristic now?
Neil is a good friend. He was there for me and my family when my son James nearly lost his life after being born prematurely and he supported me.
I find having an opinion on him tough at times, but that’s my job.
If it was me, I would have walked to protect my legacy, but everybody has to make choices based on how they see them.
In any industry, if you are under contract and believe you can still do the job competently, then you would fight on. Neil is doing that.
He can’t let go, he doesn’t want to let go. Neil is his own person and as stubborn as a mule. He’s not for budging.
It’s not even a 50-50 call amongst most fans now. Not even 90-10 in terms of backing. If he goes into next season, how much latitude would he have? Virtually none.
That will hurt. That will kill him inside. The club he’s devoted nearly half his life to he doesn’t want to give it up. I get that, we would all feel this way, would we not?
When Neil walks out of the door this time, it will be for the last time in an official capacity. That will also hurt.
Whether you feel he could save it or think he is doing an awful job and it’s beyond him, you cannot say he is not committed to the club.
He’d have to be dragged kicking and screaming out of there. You can’t employ a fighter who never gives up and then expect him to stop fighting and give up.
It’s why it’s not down to him. This is not a decision for Neil, anymore. This is a decision for the hierarchy.
This is their problematic situation to solve. It’s not down to Neil. It is for those at the top.
Neil has made mistakes this season. Plenty of them. But if he fails, it won’t be for lack of effort or lack of pride.
I suppose if any spell has summed up the season for the club, it’s been this week.
It started with Neil going on all-out attack. He used the platform of the press conference to stage a full-frontal offensive on all manner of topics.
Did I agree with it all? No. He was right with many things, but he got the Dubai one wrong. You can argue against words such as jolly, but Celtic took unnecessary risks with that trip and it backfired.
On the back of Lawwell’s apology, it was also unnecessary to bring it up again.
However, strip other words back and you will see the majority of them were from a proud man. Defending his honour, defending his ability to do the job.
Defending his players, refusing to accept his or their professionalism from being called into question.
I’m not going to criticise a man for that. He was speaking from the heart, perhaps too emotionally on some of the issues, but that’s just him.
It’s the type of fire and passion and approach which brought his successes, so you can’t start using it as a stick to beat him with now.
It’s what happened subsequently at Livingston which makes criticism of him football wise fully justified.
Failure to beat a team which had left out some key men ahead of a semi-final is unpalatable.
In isolation on a snowy night, maybe. But it’s not isolation. It’s now the norm.
God-awful defending at a set-piece for the umpteenth time this season for the loss of the first goal. Failure at source to stop and then deal with a cross for the second goal. Failure to take chances and openings at the other end.
Bad decision making at a key time and a lack of discipline which was evident in the Scott Brown red card.
These are not one-off moments. This symptomatic of a season.
The most damning indictment is that not one person in the country was shocked when Celtic failed to defeat a much-changed Livingston team who had one eye on a semi final. That says it all.
Neil said after the 3-3 draw at Aberdeen last October that if things continued to regress, he’d hold his hands up. I’m afraid they have regressed badly, but he’s not a quitter.
It’s why what happens next at Celtic is not down to him. It’s down to the directors, the people in charge.
If they still believe in Neil, say so. I suspect they don’t have the faith in John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan to run it or they’d probably be doing so by now with the hunt underway for a new boss.
Quite simply, if Celtic’s chiefs want a change, it’s up to them to make it. It’s not up to Neil to go.