Celtic have won all four Scottish Premiership games since the winter break after replicating Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 formation.
Celtic coach Neil Lennon admits that he is hoping to replicate the ‘great success’ of Antonio Conte after unveiling a brand-new formation at Parkhead, speaking to the Daily Record.
Since returning from the Christmas break, The Hoops have been re-energised and re-imagined, adapting brilliantly to a sudden tactical switch.
Lennon has swapped his usual 4-3-3 for a dynamic 3-5-2, a formation which gives strengthens a vulnerable defensive and opens the door for Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths to start together in attack.
With the Scottish Premiership champions winning each of their last four matches since that December defeat to bitter rivals Rangers, outscoring the opposition 13-2 on aggregate, the former Hibernian boss is understandably thrilled with the results.
And, speaking to The Record, Lennon suggests that Conte, who won domestic titles at Chelsea and Juventus with his trademark three-man backline, was a major inspiration behind this tactical re-jig.
“I’m pleased with it, don’t get me wrong, very pleased with it. I played with some great centre forwards who were almost telepathic and sometimes the footballing intelligence brings that to the fore,” said Lennon, who has watched on with pride as Edouard and Griffiths rip defences apart.
“It’s good to watch. You look at Antonio Conte, who’s had great success with this formation for a long time.”
Edouard, in particular, has arguably played his best football in a Celtic shirt since the beginning of January. The skilful Frenchman has produced six goals or assists in four games, benefitting from the spaces that the intelligent Griffiths opens up for him in the final third.
And Lennon deserves great credit for a brave decision to switch things up, especially an Old Firm no-show at home to Rangers cast serious doubt on their reign at the top of Scottish football.