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‘TOTAL WRITE OFF’: EX-HERO SLAMS CELTIC

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CHARLIE NICHOLAS insists the last five weeks have been “total write-off’ for his old club Celtic.

And the former Hoops striker reckons fierce foes Rangers are looking good to derail his old club’s bid for a historic tenth successive title.

Lennon’s men have won just two of their last eight games while losing to Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side and drawing with Aberdeen and Hibs as they stumble in the Premiership.

The Parkhead boss has come under mounting criticism – despite guiding the side through to the delayed Scottish Cup Final against Hearts at Hampden on December 20 – and injuries and illness have not helped him find a settled formation.

Nicholas, writing in his Daily Express column, pointed out: “The past five weeks have been a total write-off for Celtic, with just five points taken from a possible 12 in the Premiership, not to mention two defeats and a draw in their doomed Europa League group campaign.

“Neil Lennon is paying the penalty for his decision to chop and change his team.

“Celtic remain vulnerable defensively and he is picking players in a system that isn’t really working.

“Diego Laxalt and Jeremie Frimpong are both wing-backs, not full-backs; Kris Ajer is struggling and Nir Bitton should only be utilised at centre-back when he is up against lesser teams at Parkhead.

“Celtic travel to face Sparta Prague this week in a game which already looks insignificant.”

Nicholas added: “I don’t like to get too far ahead too soon, but it is definitely looking more like Rangers will be champions this season.

“Steven Gerrard’s side have zoomed 11 points clear at the top and are also 17 goals better off.

“Celtic have two games in hand, but the deficit could be even more by the time they get to December and play Hearts in the Scottish Cup Final.

“In terms of 10 In A Row, we have to wait and see how things stand in another five or six league games.

“If Rangers get to 20 games with this gap or more then it would be hard to look beyond them and I would say it was their title to throw away.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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