Do you know who was a good Celtic manager? Brendan Rodgers.
Yes, he did ultimately leave us in the lurch as we were chasing multiple trophies, and I still haven’t forgiven him for that, but it’s just an undeniable fact he was the best manager we’ve had in a generation.
Don’t worry, this is not a ‘Bring Rodgers Back’ article.
It’s simply to say that the main thing he brought to Celtic Park and Lennoxtown was English Premier League standards.
His coaching staff were excellent, his training methods were new for the players and his experience of the elite level was a large part of his success up here.
So who could come in a provide that level of guidance through a difficult time, in the event that Neil Lennon leaves the club?
I’ve had a bash at coming up with three options.
Please keep in mind these may not be realistic, but might give you an indication of the level I think we should be pitching ourselves at.
Howe’s is the name on many Celtic supporters’ lips right now. The former Bournemouth manager is out of work, is perceived as a modern and likeable manager and did an unbelievable job with the Cherries on the south coast.
He did such a good job with the former minnows that he was awarded the “Football League Manager of the Decade” award. That’s not bad is it?
Howe brought Bournemouth from the bottom tier to the big time in the top-flight.
His teams have an identifiable and tactically sound way of playing, that suits the players at Celtic used to possession-heavy matches.
Ultimately it went a bit wrong for him at the end of his Bournemouth days but he’s a legend there and could bring exciting football and success back to Celtic.
This one’s a little less appetising for me compared to Howe, but Silva has excellent experience across a number of European leagues and undoubtedly knows what it takes to compete at the elite level.
Spells at Sporting Lisbon and Olympiacos brought trophy success – winning a Portuguese Cup and Greek league title. He also guided the Greek side to some big nights in the UEFA Champions League, memorably beating Arsenal 3-2 at the Emirates in 2015.
His move to England didn’t result in silverware but he impressed enough at Watford to be headhunted by ambitious Everton, guiding them to an eighth placed finish in the Premier League.
Could Silva bring back his Olympiacos glory days and a little flair to Celtic Park?
This is where things could get interesting. Rangnick isn’t just a football coach and manager, he’s a man who could revolutionise the entire football department at Celtic Park, if given the freedom to do so.
Yes, we know Peter Lawwell is in charge and has a firm grip on every aspect of the club.
However, if we are truly going to move forward as an elite club and make progress in Europe, a bonafide football guy like Rangnick is who we should turn to.
Interestingly, Scottish and German football expert Derek Rae referenced his suitability for the role earlier tonight, stating on Twitter: “Rangnick is free now. But to get him, would have to be a project that really interests him & allows him to do things his way: emphasis on building from ground up with proper funding. Has been discussed in connection with his old club Schalke (no upside right now) & Germany NT.”
Rangnick is free now. But to get him, would have to be a project that really interests him & allows him to do things his way: emphasis on building from ground up with proper funding. Has been discussed in connection with his old club Schalke (no upside right now) & Germany NT. https://t.co/oMq6t0bi7U
— Derek Rae (@RaeComm) November 29, 2020
Rangnick, of course, has never worked in England but his experience is extensive and his record in Germany speaks for itself. As does his history of improving and motivating world-class players.
Whether Celtic have the capability, vision and ambition to pull off a Rangnick-style appointment is another matter. But it’s a nice thought, isn’t it?