Chris Sutton writes off dream Celtic appointments; names 2 of his realistic choices

By John McGinley

February 26, 2021

Chris Sutton has poured cold water on the idea Celtic can attract managers such as Roberto Martinez and Rafa Benitez to the club.

Those are two of the biggest names circulating amongst supporters in the wake of Neil Lennon’s resignation.

However, Martinez is in charge of the world-class Belgium national team ahead of two major tournaments and Benitez comes at a Premier League-tier premium.

Sutton said, on BT Sport tonight: “Do you think he’s going to leave Belgium and the Euros for Celtic? Rafa Benitez on 40 million a year, where are Celtic going to find that? Come on.”

Asked by presenter Darrell Currie who he’d like to see in the job, the Celtic striker replied: “It’s a really, really difficult one. Maybe Celtic have something up their sleeve and will pull somebody in from the continent with a big reputation.

“I think somebody like Michael O’Neill has done a pretty decent job throughout his management career. Maybe have a shot for somebody like him.

“I’ll tell you an interesting one down south. Mick McCarthy’s gone into Cardiff City and turned them around. He may not be everybody’s cup of team but you sort of know he will organise his team and get them playing a certain way.”

Celtic need to aim high, with creative thinking

Okay, so Benitez and Martinez might be out of our reach. Actually, they definitely are, if we’re honest.

However, that shouldn’t stop Celtic from aiming for the very best standards available. To get that on our budget, that might require creative thinking and a look further afield.

I tell you, I much prefer the idea of Celtic searching the continent for a manager, as Chris Sutton says, rather than settling for his suggestion of O’Neill or McCarthy.

Mick McCarthy? No thanks / (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

The next Celtic manager may well be perceived as the club taking a risk, because it might not be a name the mainstream is familiar with.

For me, that’s fine, as long as the club have done their homework and have a real rationale behind their choice, which is well-communicated with the support.

That’s what we need most of all.

In other news, Celtic fans have had their say on Stephen McManus’ appointment as a first-team coach.