Exclusive: Jackie McNamara delivers verdict on Roy Keane, Chris Wilder and Enzo Maresca Celtic speculation

By Euan Davidson

March 16, 2021

Jackie McNamara has run the rule over Roy Keane, Chris Wilder and Enzo Maresca in an exclusive chat with 67 Hail Hail.

The much-loved, versatile and consistent former Celtic man has top-tier managerial experience. McNamara’s Dundee United side were a flamboyant, youthful and exciting side. The likes of Andy Robertson, Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven were all coached by the former Bhoys defender [Evening Telegraph].

It’s natural, then, that Jackie Mac has his eye on the Celtic manager hunt. A wildly contrasting list of names have been touted, such as Roy Keane, former Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder, and former West Ham no.2 Enzo Maresca. That’s not to even touch on the likes of Eddie Howe, Mick McCarthy, Jindřich Trpišovský and seemingly 1000 others.

67 Hail Hail asked the former Scotland international and 4-time Premiership title-winner Jackie McNamara for his thoughts on three top candidates.


Roy Keane and Jackie Mac squaring off in a pre-season friendly in the USA / (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Roy Keane

“I wouldn’t mind Roy Keane! Liked him as a player, like him as a pundit, he doesn’t mess about with his words. I think he would do a good job, I’ve no doubt about that.

“Maybe he’s got regrets about not taking it [in 2014], and wants a shot at it. I would have no problems with him coming in here, I think he’d do a good job.

“I think they need a structure in place behind [him]. For Roy, or whoever comes in to bring their own people with him. They [can] get a fresh start, the players can see things differently. I understand certain bits; he’s been out of club management for so long. He’d lean towards to the older-school approach. Some players don’t respond to that now.

“At the same time, the fans would want that passion and win those battles. Win your headers. So I can see why they’d be apprehensive but I think… he’d bring in a strong management team that’s fresh, and he’s at the forefront of that.”

“I always liked him as a player. Came up against him when he was manager at Sunderland and I was at Wolverhampton. Big Mick was the manager of Wolves. It was an awkward moment between the two of them, I was talking to Mick and Roy came out…”

“He speaks his mind, he’s not really bothered who he upsets on the way to a win.”

Chris Wilder, formerly of Sheffield United / (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Chris Wilder

“I think anybody that’s come out of a job is going to get linked. He’s done a good job everywhere he’s been. I came up against when I was at York, he was at Northampton.

“He won the Manager of the Year two years ago, and was in the running last year in the Premier League. He’s been a successful manager up until this season.

“I’d be surprised if somebody like Chris Wilder was a target for Celtic at the moment.”

Enzo Maresca, development coach at Manchester City / (Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Enzo Maresca

“I knew he was number 2 at West Ham, and his development [side]. The Under-23 league doesn’t interest me at all. It’s not real. There’s no crowds, no pressure. Man City you’d expect to have the best young talent about.

“But he might be a good coach, and he’s learning from some top managers. You’d hope he’s hungry to go and do it himself at a big club like Celtic. It does look like there’s something in things, when you see it come round and round. Fergal Harkin, the Man City connection. It looks like there’s something in that.

“Again, you don’t know what the guy would be like until he took a top job himself.”


READ MORE: Is Sunday the ultimate proving ground for these 3…?