Celtic and John Terry gossip: board shouldn't entertain a bad, bad idea

By Euan Davidson

February 12, 2021

John Terry to Celtic? According to a number of outlets, it’s on the cards [Birmingham Mail].

There are even some Celtic supporters who want the Aston Villa number 2 to join [Daily Record]. The former England captain was an icon at Chelsea and for his national team. A committed, rugged defender with excellent aerial presence, he was a top defender in his pomp.

However, he has no managerial experience. Currently Dean Smith’s assistant in the Premier League, Terry has been tenuously discussed as a replacement for Neil Lennon. The Celtic board are likely to appoint someone other than the Lurgan-born Hoops legend in the summer, following a massively disappointing season.

John Terry has talked about Celtic before. Most recently, it was in the context of John McGinn. He’s also done the customary “European nights at Parkhead” chat [Birmingham Mail].

But the former centre-back as Celtic manager? Frankly, the man just has too much baggage. It’s an awkward fit, and it’s just more narrative based around Steven Gerrard.

Because, you see, while there’s an England legend across the Clyde, Celtic will be continually linked to one of his England team-mates. Last month it was Frank Lampard. The press is going to push a “box office” Gerrard v Whoever story for as long as it can. That just doesn’t fit Celtic.

John Terry – Celtic material? / (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Would Celtic fans really take to John Terry?

Let’s not beat around the bush here; John Terry is not without controversy. Most obviously, his FA charged him with racism [Guardian]. His alleged verbal attack on Anton Ferdinand was news for months. While one governing body believed it happened, the English courts did not [BBC].

That’s significant baggage, considering Celtic’s historic anti-racist stance. There are too many supporters who would be against Terry from the start.

Also, it’s worth considering that John Terry was Mr England for about a decade. He represents the pomp and excess of the Premier League in the 00s. The “glorious” failure of the Golden Generation, huge contracts and ridiculous pampering. Does that really fit at Celtic?

While he’s perhaps a solid coach, there are so many other options worth considering before someone like Terry. For example, his aforementioned team-mate in Lampard, who comes from the same backdrop of extravagance. Yes, both names are box office stuff, but they’re not based around what Celtic actually need.

Most crucially, we have absolutely zero idea what Manager John Terry is like. There is so little to suggest what his brand of football would be. His ideology, his idea of good recruitment. Terry is an assistant to a Premier League club. That is just not a CV that suggests Next Celtic Boss material.

They’re names to sell papers and TV deals. Yes, those things are valid in their own right, but do names like Terry and Lampard actually improve Celtic Football Club? Or do they spark the fickle interest of fans down south, as our league’s biggest clubs become training grounds for ex-England stars?

Do we think so little of our top-flight? We know that at the first valid opportunity, should a big job come up in England, someone like Terry or Lampard would go without much hesitation. If a self-proclaimed “Celtic man” like Brendan Rodgers can flee for Leicester City, best believe someone like Terry or Lampard would do the exact same.

And if you ask me, that just isn’t good enough for Celtic. We need someone who can establish a long-term ethos at the club, playing the Celtic Way, and buying 100% into the culture at Paradise. John Terry just isn’t that person.

READ MORE: Some good news for Celtic fans, at last.