When Neil Lennon initially took over at Easter Road in the summer of 2016, all looked rosy.
Hibs cruised to the Championship title in his first season in charge with a young and exciting squad.
Fast forward to January 2019, and it has all ended in controversial and dramatic circumstances. We’ll never know what truly led to Lennon’s ultimate break-up with the Easter Road side. It’s been well documented though how much tension was rising in the Easter Road camp.
Lennon’s way with his players cost him his job
It was clear from when he took over, Lennon was not going to mess about in his pursuit of re-establishing Hibs as one of Scotland’s best sides. A spirited Europa League performance against Danish side Brondby certainly proved this.
After promotion from the Championship, Hibs played some brilliant stuff on their return to the Premiership. Free flowing, rock and roll football, with attack the main impetus in Lennon’s game plan.
It was always easy to spot how high Lennon’s demands were, they sometimes bordered on extreme. He wanted Hibs to meet his high expectations, and whilst they met them initially, the club’s ability to meet them in recent months has somewhat waned.
This has led to an increase in brutally honest player criticisms in the press. Nobody was spared from his comments, from the board to senior players like Florian Kamberi and David Gray.
Lennon perhaps didn’t have enough respect for the players at Easter Road. He’s never been one to make friends, but the way he spoke about his players at times was hardly a breeding ground for a friendly relationship.
He will be a miss at Easter Road. Lennon got the club out of the dark hole they were in, and was the man to guide Hibs back to the Premiership. Lennon ruled with an iron fist in Leith, but the club were tired of this controlling relationship and something had to give.
The club have moved on before, and it’s up to Hibs to solider on again and battle back from what has been an unsettling season.