Who Will Succeed?

_67489523_davidmoyesWhen the story about Neil Lennon’s departure broke last week I was sat in the office when a Sevconian gleefully broke the news to me, ending his sentence with “good riddance.”

I immediately retorted:” Whilst you sing and dance about our manager’s departure, I’m praying that yours stays.”

I’m gutted he’s gone. I wanted Neil to do 9 In A Row, then 10.

I wanted him to get a chance at wiping the floor with Rangers.

To me, he’s already down as one of the greats at Celtic, for both playing and managing the club. He was successful at both. Some will pick the bones out of his managerial career, due to the cup failures, but this is a man who endured utter hostility throughout his tenure.

No other manager in world football has had to suffer what he has.

Yet in football, as every other walk of life, time waits for no man.

No sooner had news of Neil Lennon’s departure reverberated around my office, and of course the internet and sports channels, the lists had been drawn up, so I thought I’d give it a go.

Most Celtic fans will have favourites and as usual a few names are likely to appear, but a number of oobvious candidates are in the running. I’m heartily disappointed that the SMSM hasn’t thrust Stuart Baxter into the spotlight.


Whilst the King of Kings, Henrik Larsson, would be sheer box office and would no doubt fill Paradise twice over and swell the coffers through extra season ticket sales, I doubt Larsson’s ability to coach Celtic through the early stages of the Champions League.

The league is our bread and butter and I’m sure Henrik could steer us through it, but my heart would need to be ruled by my head and say no to the legendary Celtic striker. He’s currently head coach of Swedish top-flight club Falkenbergs and before then was manager of lower-league side Landskrona, where he failed to win them promotion. He’s nowhere near ready.

No offence to those clubs, but Celtic is a different proposition.

That said, I’d love Henrik to manage Celtic one day once he has achieved something as a coach. Right now it’s too early in his managerial Career.


A quick route back into football for the former Celtic defender as he is out of work after he was sacked by Cardiff chairman Vincent Tan.

Malky was worshipped by fans of the  Welsh club after he guided them to the EPL before being unfairly axed. Ex-Manchester United player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer failed to keep the club in the top flight, and Tan has been left with egg on his face.

Without doubt, he would take Celtic to four in a row. My only reservation would be his lack of European experience. In saying that, Lennon did well on that stage a rookie.


Not for me, despite Coyle being a lifelong Celtic fan and one who says managing the club is a dream of his. He turned this dream down in 2009 when boss of Burnley after Tony Mowbray was sacked. He is out of work at the moment having been given his jotters by Bolton in 2012. That’s nigh on 2 years out of work and if he were that highly rated someone else would have snapped him up.

His honours don’t make good reading. A Scottish First Division title back in 2002/03 and a Championship Play-Off Final in 2008/09. If I were Peter Lawwell his CV would be filed in the circular filing cabinet. He had his chance.

If Celtic take Coyle on, I’d consider handing my season ticket back.


Celtic could get Lambert for nothing soon. His jacket is on a shoogly peg by the sounds of it. Villa’s owner Randy Lerner is looking to sell and he could be out of a job.

Lambert is on his fifth managerial post so there’s no lack of experience. He’s been through many European campaigns as a player and enjoyed Champions League with Dortmund, and he was part of the Seville Team.

Certainly not a gamble in my eyes.


Despite taking WBA to their highest placed finish in the top flight since 1981, Clarke was shown the exit door by the board at the Hawthorns last April. Another who can come to Parkhead compensation-free.

Clarke is a highly-regarded coach and of course assisted Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. He was also Kenny Dalglish’s No.2 at Liverpool.

I don’t think he’d be fazed by the enormity of the job at Celtic, but would he be able to attract players? I think he’s the dark horse in the pack. His coaching skills are highly revered down south.


Loved him as a player. Who didn’t? But an idiot of a man. I nearly spat my tea out when I read about him being linked to the Celtic hotseat.

An absolute loose cannon, so there’s no chance of him walking up the Celtic Way.

The self-proclaimed fascist, who in 2005, characterised his political views by declaring that he was “a fascist, not a racist” … Lawwell and Co would be totally off their heads to even consider him.

Leigh Griffiths was publicly scorned for his chants about Rudi Skacel but Di Canio firmly believes in this type of guff.

Barring his political views; his managerial career is hardly good reading. Sorry but a Division Two Title is akin to winning League One in Scotland. The Italian McCoist.


After ending his active career he became an assistant coach at FC Nordsjælland during the 2005–06 season and cut his teeth as manager the next year.

He managed Nordsjælland to the Danish Cup 2009-10 trophy, the first ever honour in club’s history. The following year Wieghorst and Nordsjælland successfully defended it.

He’s also managed the Danish U21 side gaining invaluable experience and went on to sssist Michael Laudrup at Swansea.

He’s an outsider but not out of the running.


Another out of work manager and high profile at that, having managed both Everton and Manchester United. Celtic would be the ideal job for him after his exit from Old Trafford.

In many people’s eyes he wasn’t given enough time, but his tenure was nothing short of disastrous. However, he completely turned Everton around and was loved on Merseyside.

Manchester may have been a leaning curve and I can certainly see him being successful.

He’s my favoured choice at present and i think it would show ambition from the board.

If not Moyes, I’d go for Lambert or Mackay. Celtic need to make the right appointment.

Scottish Football is in a period of transition. Hearts, Hibs and Rangers will be fighting for promotion to the SPFL Premier.

It could also be argued that here are plenty managers who operate with less than Celtic’s budget, who know there way around the latter stages of the Europa League, who could bring something different to Celtic.

Aberdeen and Motherwell will be looking to close the gap on Celtic. Celtic will be looking to do 4-In-A-Row and should be busting a gut for a Treble.

Above all this, of course, they will be looking to qualify for the Champions League again and at least compete at the Group Stages, so the board need to appoint soon and they might just have to fork out compensation.

If they can’t get my top three picks then they should call Stuart Baxter.

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Gavin McCann

A dipsomaniac funambulist steadying himself on life's tightrope through the medium of writing. I "suffer" from diphallic terata with mild polyorchidity. Like a dug wi' two dicks.

15 thoughts on “Who Will Succeed?

  • 26 May, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Cup failures?

    By that reckoning Martin O’Neil must have been a failure.

    He won 3 cups in five years and Lennon 2 cups in four years.

    If something is repeated often it comes to be believed.

    I know of another manager of a used to be big club who has never won a cup of any description in twelve attempts, not even the silly Ramsden’s cup.

  • 26 May, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Whats to stop Neil returning in a few years to claim the tenth of ten in a row……..he’d still be a young man in management terms…..the fans adore him and would welcome him back…..and it would be the biggest GIRFUY to whatever form the Artist Formerly Known As Rangers are in at the time.

  • 26 May, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Of all the candidates listed above, Malky MacKay is my choice.

    I also think Oscar Garcia should be looked at.

    Coached at Barcelona and believes in the possession and passing game, which would be right up Celtic’s street.

    With his pedigree, not being a Celtic fan shouldn’t be an issue.

  • 26 May, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    To me Paul Lambert should be the No.1 choice as he has experience of playing in Europe and learned his managerial trade under the best coaches, Hitzfeld at Dortmund & O’Neill at Celtic, he also took his coaching badges in Germany.

  • 26 May, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    To do well in Europe a European manager might just be what we need so Garcia could be a good choice, something different to what we have now and might be able to use our foreign players better.

  • 26 May, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    I agree that Moyes should be our number one target, he proved it with Everton when his finacial budget got them into the EPLs top four. I think he would love the opportunity to beat one of this years top four from the EPL in the CL group stages.

  • 26 May, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I am with you on this one,definately Davie
    Moyes.Treated shabbily,he will have fire in.his belly.The pull of the CL and to experience managing in this environment,
    could tempt him.
    I recall an interview he gave,a few years ago,where he said he would love to manage in Scotland one day,hinting at
    Celtic.Now is the opportune moment for
    our club to go and get him.He is at a low
    ebb.Celtic fans will make him feel wanted
    and loved.
    For me,it’s a match made in Heaven ( Paradise ).

  • 26 May, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    A bit harsh to say you would hand back your season ticket if Owen Coyle got the job. He could come in and do a good job.

  • 26 May, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Moyes for me but somehow it seems unlikely, Malky or Lambert would be good choices but Coyle? No chance! He would split the support right down the middle after his previous snub.

  • 26 May, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    The appointment of Coyle would show an utter lack of ambition by Celtic.

    I would give my book up in protest at the Board. Coyle seems like a nice guy but as they say…nice guys don’t win things.

    I’m swaying towards Garcia now…

    With regards to Lennons Cup Record…the statistics don’t lie. A small blemish…his time at Celtic as a Manager was a success.

  • 26 May, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    For me it’s between Moyes and MacKay.
    Moyes problem is that his team seem very one dimensional. I’m a great believer in football being a constantly evolving sport; from defensive teams, to all attacking, to total football, to physical, to possession and tactics. While Moyes has failed to deliver at Manchester United this has been compounded by the fact that Everton, under his replacement, have evolved themselves into a far better team. Mackay has had a good grounding, knows the lower leagues of English football well and may be better at building team spirit.
    I really don’t like when people say “he should be a Celtic man”. As long as the guy builds a good team and doesn’t embarrass the club then that’s the guy I want. People said Tony Mowbray was a Celtic man. He may have been but he was a shocking manager telling players they were poor when those players had played in the last sixteen of the Champions League which was a far higher standard than he ever achieved himself.
    DiCanio; give me a break. He was with us I think two seasons. He is a freak show and shouldn’t be allowed near our club.
    Ultimately MacKay for me as he seems as if he can adapt and grow.

  • 27 May, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    It’s Davie moyes for me all the way.

  • 31 May, 2014 at 12:12 am

    at last – someone who agrees with me on Moyes! i always thought it was a no-brainer but apparently not…

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