Petrov bigs up divisive figure as potential future Celtic manager

By David Walton

January 19, 2021

Parkhead great Stiliyan Petrov has bigged up the prospect of Roy Keane becoming the next Celtic manager earlier today.

With the situation at Celtic Park looking grimmer and grimmer by the week, it would take a brave supporter to bet Lennon being in the dugout at the end of the season. Better yet, it looks nigh-on impossible for him to continue into the next campaign.

The sharp decline of the club has led to plenty of discussion over the next manager. Fans have recently been debating the prospect of Eddie Howe being the new man in the hot seat.

However, perhaps the most controversial name yet was put to Petrov on the Celtic Huddle podcast today. Asked to discuss the possibility of Keane becoming the Celtic boss, Petrov was happy to big him up:

“I mean what a name to come up for the job. I think Roy’s name was mentioned a couple of years ago if I’m not wrong. To be honest it’s something that’s needed.

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“Does Roy Keane go and compete with Steven Gerrard and compete with the same intensity, with the same desire? Yeah he does. Is he going to be somebody the Celtic fans would like to see in charge? I think so. Would I look forward to it? Yes. Would that fire get back to Celtic players again? I think it would.

“Why not? I would be quite excited to see that change made and Roy to be given a chance. So it would be interesting to see whether that could happen.”

Petrov backs Roy Keane for Celtic manager; not everyone will agree

Many Celtic fans won’t be a fan of this idea. We know that from recent years when Keane’s name has come up. There are many different reasons he wouldn’t unite the fanbase.

In 2014, Keane admitted that he turned down the job in the past when Dermot Desmond had all but promised him it ( For many, you don’t get a second chance to say yes to Celtic. That’s a barrier some would struggle to get over.

Secondly, you have his general outlook on football and his mannerisms as a pundit. Keane is known for being hard-hitting and perhaps a bit out of touch with how players in 2021 should be managed.

Roy Keane at a Celtic match (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

However, the biggest concern would be his managerial CV. He looked like he would burst onto the scene with Sunderland after bagging them promotion to the Premier League back in 2007 and then keeping him up in 2008. He left when relegation looked inevitable in 2009, before going to Ipswich and failing to ever improve them. In the end, he left the Championship club having finished as low as 21st during his stint there.

Keane hasn’t taken up a managerial gig since. He formed a successful partnership with Martin O’Neill as Republic of Ireland assistant boss. He then had spells with Aston Villa and Notts Forest as a number two also. But there’s nothing in that managerial CV to get excited about.

Even so, as divisive as this would be, don’t tell me he wouldn’t be backed. If Celtic appointed him tomorrow there would be plenty of supporters idolising him and excited for what lay ahead. It wouldn’t personally be my cup of tea, but stranger things have happened.

In other news, we discuss how Peter Lawwell was badly undermined with Celtic’s Monday decision.