The former Celtic boss was victim of the commentator’s curse after making an ill-timed prediction when commentating on Manchester United’s tie with Atalanta
Timing is everything in football and especially, for the commentators, who are only one ill-timed piece of analysis away from making a fool of themselves.
It can happen to anyone, as Neil Lennon found out when he became the latest victim of the commentator’s curse while working for BBC Radio 5Live on Wednesday night.
The Northern Irishman was on media duty as a pundit, covering Manchester United’s thrilling Champions League tie with Atalanta at Old Trafford.
His words were being relayed from the radio onto the BBC website so that fans could get a glimpse of his analysis.
Unfortunately for the former Celtic and Bolton boss, they didn’t leave out his positive prediction for Man United in the first half.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side found themselves a goal down thanks to Mario Pasalic’s effort, putting the Italian side ahead on their first trip to Old Trafford.
The Red Devils had created several chances to equalise but could not find the back of the net, prompting Lennon to reasonably predict an equaliser was on the way.
“Man Utd’s response to the goal has been excellent. The football’s been sharper, they’re just missing that last ball.
“But certainly, their attitude’s been a lot better.”
Only moments later, Atalanta made it 2-0 after Merih Demiral headed home from a corner — and by that point, it was too late. Lennon’s words were clear to read in the text commentary.
The fact Man United had conceded from a set-piece, with Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw in particular found wanting, only rubbed salt into the wound.
Naturally, football fans listening in were quick on the buzzer and responded by tweeting screenshots of Lennon’s analysis beside the subsequent goal description.
There was a classic example of comparing Lennon’s gaffe to Steve McLaren, who made a similar error about England when commentating on their Euro 2016 defeat against Iceland.
One user by the name of Scott Wolf Rogson wrote: “Finger on the pulse as usual from Neil Lennon.”
Another fan named Jono went in with a direct hit, tweeting: “Neil Lennon eat your heart out.”
One United fan by the name of Richard questioned if Lennon was even watching the right game — an easy mistake with six 8pm kick-offs in the Champions League.
“Has he been watching the same game?” he pondered.
And finally, Tom went to the extreme. Brinkwire presents summary news.