Celtic: What lessons can be learned from Neil Lennon's first stint in charge?

Neil Lennon's record as Celtic manager

Neil Lennon might be a familiar face at Celtic, but could things be about to change dramatically for the treble treble winners?

The squad is likely to be overhauled, with loan players leaving and others expected to move elsewhere, and the style of play will probably be adapted even more than it has already during the new manager's three months in temporary charge.

Lennon, who coached the side for four years until 2014, is a very different manager from Brendan Rodgers, but what can Celtic fans expect from his team? BBC Scotland has looked at the numbers from his first stint in charge to try to find out.

Continued domestic dominance?

Some Celtic fans have voiced concerns about a drop-off in results and performance from the high bar set under Rodgers. However, there is a far smaller gap between the domestic record of the two than some might think.

Rodgers enjoyed a return of 2.44 points per league game over the course of his time in Scotland. Yet Lennon's own record during both stints at Celtic stands at 2.40. Similarly, while Rodgers boasted a win ratio of 76%, Lennon's own record was 75%. Does that suggest Celtic fans need not fear any notable drop-off in terms of points won in defence of league titles?

However, if there is one chink in Lennon's domestic armour it will most likely come in cup competition. Although the Northern Irishman has just won his third Scottish Cup, in his first stint as Celtic boss he only won two of a possible seven cup competitions. Under Rodgers, Celtic never lost a domestic cup game.

Better nights in Europe?

Where Lennon does exceed Rodgers is in European competition. A series of buffetings at the hands of some of the continent's more moneyed clubs are the one small stain on the latter's record at Celtic, with his side struggling to summon the doggedness to dig out the kind of results that defined Lennon's first stint.

The headlines of those years were Champions League group-stage wins over Barcelona, Ajax and Spartak Moscow, but beneath that lies a win ratio of 29% in the competition proper compared to Rodgers' 8%. That is mirrored in qualifying, with Lennon averaging 2.33 points per game and a win ratio of 75%, compared to Rodgers' 1.89 points and win ratio of 56%.

Rodgers' record levels out when Europa League matches are included, but Lennon proved far more successful in Europe's premier competition.

A younger squad?

Six senior players are out of contract this summer - Scott Allan, Dedryck Boyata, Dorus de Vries, Cristian Gamboa, Emilio Izaguirre and Mikael Lustig. A further three will depart at the end of their loan deals - Filip Benkovic, Oliver Burke and Jeremy Toljan. Others may be deemed surplus to requirement. So the squad could look very different by the start of the new season.

While the club enjoyed plenty of success buying cheap, promising players and selling them for larger sums during Lennon's first spell, Rodgers' tenure saw a prevalence of older, more expensive players brought in to match his ambition.

The average age of Celtic's squad over the last 10 years dipped notably while Lennon was in charge between 2010 and 2014, with the then fledgling manager gutting a squad that had come to the end of its cycle under Gordon Strachan, then briefly Tony Mowbray.

The team Lennon has inherited this time had an average age 3.66 years older than the squad he left behind - something which will likely change this summer.

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