Lucien Favre throws his name into Celtic manager discussions

By Euan Davidson

March 30, 2021

Former Borussia Dortmund manager Lucien Favre has put himself in the frame for the Celtic job.

According to the Daily Mail, the 63-year-old ex-BVB manager is interesting in replacing Neil Lennon. His is a name of excellent repute in Europe. Favre averaged a better win ratio at the German giants than Jürgen Klopp.

Favre, born in Saint-Barthélemy, Switzerland, also boasts 2 Swiss championships.

His is not a career littered with trophy wins. However, he has a history of turning mediocre clubs into legitimate competitors. Over a 4-year spell at Borussia Mönchengladbach, he moved the perennial under-achievers from the threat of relegation to the 12-13 Champions League qualifiers. He saw Gladbach into the competition proper in 15-16.

Subsequently, he took a middling Nice team into the same competition, finishing with the club’s best Ligue 1 position in decades.

That was enough to win him the job at Borussia Dortmund, where, according to DW:

“Favre leaves Borussia Dortmund as the club’s joint highest performing Bundesliga coach, recording an average of  2.09 points per game, the same as Thomas Tuchel and significantly higher than Jürgen Klopp (1.91), Ottmar Hitzfeld (1.85) and Matthias Sammer (1.77).”

While, admittedly, it didn’t end amazingly at BVB, his record overall speaks for itself. Under Favre, stars like Ter-Stegen, Granit Xhaka, Marco Reus and Dante have developed into top players. He ticks plenty of boxes for for Celtic.

Favre, airborne in 2011 / (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Lucien Favre – the right man for Celtic?

Given the pressures of managing one of the top sides in Europe, Favre’s overall record at Dortmund is overlooked. Yes, his spell there ended with a 5-1 defeat to Stuttgart, but his record in Germany is fantastic. Certainly, he’s on the older side at 63, but he has a vast network of contacts and is an extremely proficient coach.

Favre seems to work best at clubs with something to prove. He’s turned distinctly average or poor clubs into the talk of their respective league. His record developing players is fantastic as well, and that’s something Celtic really need to look at.

A frustration under previous regimes has been a lack of game-time for youngsters, and Academy players stagnating. Not so under Favre. Over his managerial career, he has shown a real willingness to revamp his squads with options from within the club, while being shrewd in the transfer market.

It’s extremely interesting that reports are suggesting he’s voluntarily put his name into discussions. With his pedigree and history with some of the most exciting clubs in Europe, he’s more than worth an interview.

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