Report: Yet another new name enters Celtic managerial discussion

By David Walton

March 3, 2021

Celtic are considering an approach for Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill, according to website 90Min.

It’s been reported that Dermot Desmond is a huge fan of the former Northern Ireland manager. He’s therefore under serious consideration for the job this time around.

There was speculation back in 2016 that O’Neill turned down the job before Brendan Rodgers was appointed. Whilst this has never been confirmed, he failed to dismiss that it was Celtic when directly asked [Scottish Sun].

In addition to that, O’Neill also rejected the SFA’s offer to become the Scotland boss before Steve Clarke was appointed. In January 2018, O’Neill was reportedly the only man on the association’s shortlist. However, he turned down an apparent £500k-per-year offer from the national team [Scottish Sun].

These days, O’Neill is currently occupied with rebuilding Stoke City. It’s a job he’s performed admirably so far – taking over in 2019 with the Potters rooted at the bottom of the Championship. He’s managed to guide them to safety last season and is currently sitting in the top half. of the table.

Michael O’Neill not the worst candidate to be thrown into the Celtic managerial discussion

O’Neill certainly has the pedigree to take this job on. There’s not a lot to dislike about what he’s done throughout both his playing and managerial career.

During his playing days, he spent over a decade in Scotland in total and played for six different clubs up here. He knows fine well the landscape of Scottish football, and even spent two years as Brechin City boss.

But his most impressive results came with his home nation. During his incredible nine-year stint as Northern Ireland boss, O’Neill broke their 30-year qualification duck. He secured a spot at Euro 2016 in what would be NI’s first appearance at a Euro competition. He even secured progression past the group stages.

Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

The former Dundee Utd man looked like doing similar before moving to Stoke. However, the pandemic pushed back the Euro 2020 playoffs as he had to step down.

O’Neill has built up a reputation over the years for his organisation. He doesn’t particularly set his teams up in a way synonymous with football at Parkhead. In fact, Ronald Koeman once called his Northern Ireland team’s style of play “outrageous” [FourFourTwo].

But this is a manager who tends to get results. He knows how to make his teams hard to beat and has performed miracles with limited resources. Not surprisingly, his name has finally popped up in the Celtic managerial discussion.

In other news, a Celtic outcast is reportedly interesting three Premier League clubs.