Roberto Martinez tips ex-Celtic man to bring a "different approach" to Scottish football

By David Walton

December 30, 2021

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has tipped former Celtic man Shaun Maloney to play a major role in the development of Scottish football with Hibernian.

Ex-Hoops favourite Maloney was last week confirmed as the new manager of the Easter Road club in a move that certainly caught the eye of the Celtic supporters. The Bhoys fans have been watching Maloney’s career with interest, and will see him up close on January 17th when Hibs visit Parkhead.

The role is Maloney’s first as a number 1 after spending time with Martinez as a first-team coach with the Belgium national team. He started his coaching career at Parkhead working with the U20s after spending over 10 years with the club across 2 different playing spells.

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The Celtic supporters are just as intrigued as the Hibs fanbase when it comes to how Maloney will impact the Scottish game. And as he prepares to make an impression in his homeland, Martinez has tipped Shaun for big things.

As quoted by the Daily Record, the Belgium boss said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can change in the next 18 months because I know he can bring a different approach to Scottish football with the ideas of working in international football. It’s going to be good for Hibs and the development of Scottish football in general.

“He has really strong values, he doesn’t just want to manage a team and win games, he wants to build a football club, the philosophy, develop the players and have a long-term vision for recruitment. He is ready, for us it has been fantastic to have him working with the team for three years. He is someone I know as a player and that transformation to become an ultra-dedicated coach was fantastic.

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“I would have loved to have kept him until the World Cup because it’s only round the corner. The reality is he got really intrigued by the project. Once he met the owner and CEO he believed in the project and long-term future of the club.”

Shaun Maloney – future Celtic manager?

There are 2 main reasons the Celtic support have been and will continue to follow Maloney’s career with interest. Firstly because he was an impactful player for the club having come through the academy to achieve a trophy-laden Hoops career.

However, the 2nd and main reason is because many will believe he has a genuine shot at one day becoming a future Celtic number 1. If he succeeds with Hibs and genuinely builds something impressive there, there will undoubtedly be a debate over whether he needs to prove himself elsewhere before taking the step-up to Parkhead. But for now everyone is watching with great interest.

Maloney has already built up a superb reputation for himself given he doesn’t even have a track record as a number 1. Staying in his role with Belgium for over 3 years shows how highly he was thought of by some of the biggest names in the game.

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Of course, Maloney’s relationship with Martinez stems from their days together at Wigan Athletic. But even so, Shaun has now worked with some of the greatest world-class talents involved in the game today. It’ll be intriguing to see what he takes from that particular experience.

So far, it’s 2 wins out of 2 for the new Hibs boss against Aberdeen and Dundee United respectively. We’ll hope that run is put to bed in his next match at Parkhead. But in the long-term, we wish him every success as we try to work out what style of football he’ll bring to Easter Road.

It’s certainly an appointment that’s captured the imagination of not only the Hibs support, but Scottish football as a whole. Here’s hoping Shaun can make a big impact this season.

In other news, The Celtic boss has just delivered the news his rivals were fearing.