Celtic hero John Hartson becomes latest to back Roy Keane for managerial role

By Euan Davidson

March 12, 2021

Former Celtic goalscoring hero John Hartson has backed Roy Keane for the Hoops’ top job.

Hartson, who scored 110 goals for the Bhoys [Soccerbase] is the latest to herald the Irishman’s managerial abilities. The former Manchester United captain has short odds on becoming the next Celtic manager [Glasgow Times]. It doesn’t seem to matter that the Sky Sports pundit’s last managerial job was in 2011 [BBC].

John Hartson, still a very well-liked figure amongst the Celtic support, was vociferous in his praise of the former Ireland international. Speaking to OTB Sports, the Welshman said:

“That is the type of manager that is needed. When we mentioned Roy Keane, I think Roy would be excellent. He would be well-respected among the players, he would have learned a lot in terms of what he has achieved up to now.”

“He has come from an assistant role – I wouldn’t be concerned. You know me, if I didn’t think Roy was the person that could galvanise the team and get them going, get them organise[d], then I would be the first one to say that.

“I think Roy would be good.”

Roy Keane during his Celtic playing days / (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Please, no more: Roy Keane to Celtic rumours make little sense

Celtic approached Roy Keane in 2014, before hiring Ronny Deila. The former midfielder wasn’t impressed by the financial terms of Peter Lawwell’s offer, so the charismatic Norwegian Deila came to Celtic Park instead.

A controversial figure, Keane is being heralded for his “no-nonsense” approach to management. A motivator who led Manchester United through incredible campaigns, his abilities as a player and leader are well-established.

However, he still has a great deal to prove as a manager. Yes, he was successful with Sunderland, but he left the Black Cats in 2008 [Guardian]. A stint with Ipswich followed, to minimal success. As assistant to Martin O’Neill, Keane has also worked at Nottingham Forest and the Republic of Ireland set-up, as well as assisting Paul Lambert at Aston Villa.

Certainly, there is something to like about Roy Keane. His recent refusal to congratulate Rangers on Live TV was a funny highlight from the last week.

However, a managerial role at Celtic wouldn’t necessarily be a good fit. The club are looking to hire a Director of Football, and it seems like the kind of “modern football” approach that Roy Keane wouldn’t appreciate at all.

It’s worrying that a manager who hasn’t held a top job since 2011 is being so readily linked to our club.

READ MORE: Scott Brown is considering his options.