Report claims Celtic have held tentative talks with Rui Faria

By David Walton

June 2, 2021

A report from the Daily Record has claimed that Celtic have held talks with Portuguese coach Rui Faria over the vacant managerial position.

The Record claim that the talks have been “tentative” ones and that Celtic remain confident of appointing Ange Postecoglou. They also state that Faria is keen on the job if it comes up despite Postecoglou being the clear favourite.

Faria was a long-time assistant to Jose Mourinho up until his departure from Manchester United in 2018. He’s been his right-hand man as the Portuguese icon secured 25 trophies throughout his illustrious managerial career.

However, Faria has only managed one club of his own. He joined Qatar Stars League outfit Al-Duhail. After leading them to the title in his first season in charge, he would resign in 2020 due to personal reasons [The Peninsula]. Since then he’s been out of work.

He also has history against the Hoops too. Celtic fans may remember him most for being Mourinho’s assistant during the controversial 2003 UEFA Cup final match against Porto. That alone may be enough to put people off.

Celtic appointing Rui Faria would be an even bigger risk than Postecoglou

You can see the attraction. Just look at what Faria has done throughout his career as Mourinho’s assistant. He’s won Serie A, the Premier League, La Liga, and the Champions League just to name a few. In the past, he’s been linked with the likes of the Arsenal managerial gig [talkSPORT].

But it’s a massively different job jumping into the managerial hotseat of a club like Celtic than sitting as a number two elsewhere. Just look at John Kennedy for example. He managed success after success working under Neil Lennon for a year before things imploded. Then his chance to shine as interim boss came and he made a host of ridiculous on-field mistakes.

If we’re going to claim that Postecoglou is unproven as a manager, what does that make Faria? Yes he’ll have plenty of contacts in the game. Yes, he’ll be a man that players want to come and play for given his experiences in football. But Celtic isn’t a place to cut your teeth in management. Faria has a track record of success, but not as a number one.

Celtic have reportedly held talks with Rui Faria (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

You can take a dig at Postecoglou, but he’s won plenty as his own man. He’s secured titles in Australia and Japan as a manager. He’s qualified Australia for the World Cup and won the Asian Cup with them. That’s not including the host of competitions he won with the Australia youth sides. Not to mention his years of experience as a number one in general. He has more of a pedigree as a manager than Faria.

We know any new managerial appointment comes with risk. Eddie Howe would’ve had question marks over him too even if he’d been appointed. But we have to at least ensure our next boss has extensive experience as his own man. This is too big a job for a rookie manager to come into.

You also have to take into consideration the football he played alongside Mourinho. a pragmatic, counter-attacking game? It’s not a style synonymous with the attacking football Celtic fans want to see at Parkhead. We don’t want to go 1-0 up at Dundee then defend for our lives.

Celtic are right to keep tabs on other potential targets if Postecoglou was to somehow fall through. But if this is what we have lined up, it just doesn’t really look like it fits well enough for our football club.