Comparing the Celtic managerial hunt to other clubs is pointless

By Euan Davidson

May 26, 2021

So, Celtic supporters, we’ve watched another Scottish Premiership club snap up a new manager.

Perhaps more frustratingly, it’s one Celtic-adjacent man replacing another. John Yogi Hughes has been swapped for Malky Mackay, the manager of choice for people who follow Roy Chubby Brown on tour.

Aberdeen replaced Derek McInnes with Stephen Glass. Micky Mellon has left Dundee United, and the next manager will surely be in soon. We saw Chelsea, down south, hastily bringing in Thomas Tuchel to very decent effect. So you’re more than entitled to read the football headlines and think “why not us?”.

Well, because that’s never been us. And when we’re talking about Scottish football, there are very different sets of circumstances between ourselves and a club like Ross County. Although, it should be remembered that the Staggies beat us twice this year, making a search for a new manager all the more relevant.

We couldn’t have reasonably anticipated a wait this long for Eddie Howe, specifically. As it turns out, the former Bournemouth manager was due a hefty bonus [Sun] were the Cherries to seal promotion. If anything, we’ve been spared a couple of weeks more of the frustrating wait, due to Brentford doing the business for us [Guardian].

"Carl Starfelt to Celtic is a big possibility" | Swedish journalist Anel Avdić

So, the idea that we could’ve plucked a manager from the free agency pool and put him in place by now doesn’t work in this case. However, I get the sense it would’ve never been like that regardless.

So much is changing, not least the playing staff / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic are a club with a history of taking their time

We’ve spoken before about the precedent. Celtic take ages to hire managers, that isn’t news. Nor is that what I’m trying to argue here.

There’s more to it. The fact is, this club needed new ideas and new energy across the club. Clearly, the old habits from the last few years weren’t cutting it any more. And a board in retreat have had to tread carefully before making era-defining mistakes.

Of course, so much change change in a short time. A while ago, we were worried about not enough Academy players coming through, but loan deals and international call-ups have given us hope. We thought John Kennedy had a realistic chance of becoming our permanent boss; not so much. However, the steps Celtic need to take to return us to dominance could have a lasting effect on years to come.

Because, when you’re talking about structural changes, like a Sporting Director and a revamped scouting system, it’s a whole sea change from an operational perspective. There’ll have been wrangling about responsibilities, methods and how each department at the club needs handled. It’s like an entirely new constitution is being worked out behind the scenes.

A manager, then, is just one part of it. Yes, it’s frustrating, yes it’s taken seemingly forever, and yes, we’re all running out of patience. Still, to modernise a football club very much stuck in the past needs time to get things right. Comparing ourselves to Ross County, then, is utterly redundant.

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