The media seem to be having a field day when it comes to throwing names into the mixer for the next manager of Celtic, and that means the only winners will be the bookies.
Though its perhaps not a bad idea to chuck all potential candidates into a great big mixer and swirl it around a bit, in the hope that we produce someone who can put a smile back on our faces.
With Neil Lennon now free to pursue his other interests away from the intensity of the hot seat, we can relax a bit while the board takes its time to make sure we get it right next season.
After all, its not like we lost anything, as with no fans at any of the grounds, it doesn’t count as a proper season, regardless of what you read in the papers.
Which reminds me, we asked you to reserve judgement on Lennon’s overall contribution to the season, and it seems others are hinting at what we already suspect. Well, when I say suspect thats purely another word for “are fully aware of “…
Steven Gerrard may well have alluded to it when he said;
“I can’t say I’m surprised because of obviously what’s been going on over there.
Derek McInnes added , though not at the same time…
“What has to be said is he is a very successful Celtic manager. Sometimes in the here and now, particularly in Neil’s case this season, he has been a bit of a punchbag for others and he has had to take a lot on the chin, and a lot of criticism has come his way.
“I think when you see the difference points-wise Celtic to Rangers, it’s more than a manager at fault there if people are blaming anybody.
“Time will be kind to Neil. It might not be that now because a lot of people got themselves into a real state this season, the 10-in-a-row thing comes into that, but Neil has been a very successful manager in both spells.
“In time, even people who have been heavily criticising Neil will see the merits in what he has achieved.
Again, leave off the man until you see what he’s had to deal with over the last twelve months.
All that is now behind us, and its time to look ahead, to the challenge offered by the fledgling club/company over the river, now invigorated at the prospect of their first ever major trophy.
And fair play to Steven Gerrard and his main man Michael Beale, who may yet be lured south to pastures new , maybe to a more established club, or one with a bank account.
It will be interesting to see if they try to take any of their key men with them, though its thought that Madden, Dallas, Beaton and Muir are all settled where they are, and will be difficult to tempt south into the more difficult surroundings of the EPL, where they will be forced to adhere to certain rules, mostly around integrity and ability, and although they have served Gerrard well, he’s likely to leave them behind as its thought they wouldn’t be able to , er, wield their influence quite so effectively down there.
But it’s Celtic we want to concentrate on, and the list of candidates for the top job is impressive at first glance, but each and every one of them has their pros and cons, so we offer this guide to the board, to help them make the right choice.
Steve Clarke seems to be the current favourite. At the moment though, he’s concentrating on helping Scotland at least make a decent fist of it in their first major tournament finals since 1998, even though since then its been made progressively easier to qualify by UEFA and FIFA. This time round, Scotland qualified by virtue of only having to play teams as bad as they are, and since there aren’t that many of them, they ended up in a group of three and got through by winning more throw ins than anyone else.
Clarke has made Scotland difficult to beat. as teams are bored senseless and often start texting their pals at home in order to stay awake, and the ploy of using a ball that is three times heavier than the standard issue when no one is looking means that Ryan Christie is a real threat from twenty yards out, as the ball stays out of air traffic controls jurisdiction.
That kind of pragmatism is what Celtic need, and although there are claims he would bring his own brand of Wattenaccio to the club, the pubs on london road are already looking forward to replacing their lost pandemic income, as most fans will be in there by half time.
We contacted him for his own thoughts, but someone at the SFA told us to fuck off.
Second favourite is Brendan Rodgers.
Over the last couple of days, the man once described, on these pages, in fact, as a rat, has spoken of little else but Celtic. He said that we need a director of football, explained in detail why, and said that John Kennedy was a safe pair of hands, until he gets there, presumably.
If Desmond doesn’t take the hint from that then he’s not paying attention.
Of course, fans may object initially, but whats faithful through and through if you can’t change it to fickle as fuck forever every now and then ?
And I’ll tell you something else, something i’ve kept to myself for a year or two.
I was in a hotel not far from Leicester the day Rodgers was announced as Leicester manager, and that morning , from the other end of the corridor, I distinctly heard an Antrim accent wailing that he “hoped he didn’t do anything stupid last night “, as he asked reception for a couple of paracetomol and a can of red bull….
With Lawwell out of the way, has Rodgers decided he wants to come home, and if so will Danny McGrain have to apologise for that appalling slur on his integrity ?
The third name on the list is someone with seventeen years experience in the day to day running of everything connected with a football club, who in a trophy laden period accumulated a nine in a row, several cups, several more titles and saw off a major rival, laughing heartily as they cascaded into oblivion.
Peter Lawwell has been quietly beavering away doing the job for years, and he may feel its time to step into the spotlight.
He knows the club, he’s a fan and has connections throughout Europe. a tough negotiator and a man who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, he has prived in the past that he can deal with the pressure, and it he just might feel that this is the opportune moment to seize control and do it his way, without interference from football managers or coaches.
Or anyone else that knows what they are doing, come to think of it.
Frank Lampard , is the name on everyones lips down at Sky TV. They desperately want to move away from the prospect of someone pointing out that they’ve been selling advertising, subscriptions and sponsorship on the back of the same club myth, and a Lampard v Gerrard tagline would help then ditch the now defunct old firm label before the lawyers do.
They are pushing the idea relentlessly, but fortunately as no one takes any notice of them its not likely to happen. We rang Sky pundit Andy Walker for comment, well, we were going to, but figured we wouldn;t get any sense out of him.
We did ring Kris Boyd, but the fat fingered fool couldn’t find the answer button in time.
Eddie Howe , once of Bournemouth and Jason Tindell, also once of Bournemouth have surprisingly not found other work recently, and may yet be tempted out of their comfort zone. Howe could be ready to step up to a club that would allow him to express himself as a manager, and wages , we believe would not be a problem.
As long as he fancies being paid in used fivers , once a month on a motorway service station.
Damien Duff might yet be a surprise choice as top man, as it might need to be that to tempt him back to Glasgow. However, he could be also in the frame to be head coach under Steve Clarke , as they worked together at Chelsea. Then again, also at Chelsea was Frank Lampard, and fuckwitted pen twirler Pat Nevin, and we can only hope that a Chelsea old bous reunion stops at just Duff and Clarke, which is probably what we’ll end up with.
The man in the seat at the moment is John Kennedy, and he would be on this list as well if it wasn’t for the fact that if he were going to get the job he;d have had it by now.
And when he said in an interview that he would become interim and “put his own ambitions on hold “, you get the impression he doesn’t want it.
If he;s had enough of the place, you couldn’t blame him, and if the team suddenly remembers how to play football while he’s in charge, then he’ll need to keep an eye on who is behind him in the showers, as dreadful things can happen in there.
One minute he could be picking up the soap, and next minute he’s full time Celtic manager.
Father and son double act Gordon and Gavin Strachan was thought to be a possibility, but Gordon has gone a bit doo lally and his son has been a bit of a joke figure as he keeps watching cartoons on his laptop when he;s supposed to be watching the game.
Oh, hang on, Gordon says he hasn’t gone doo lally…
Apparently its just a new look….
We genuinely haven’t heard anything about who is going to take up the reins, largely becuase the pubs are all shut and the police won’t allow the consumption of super strength lager on the streets, so our drunken informers aren’t as drunk as they used to be.
But if its not Steve Clarke we’ll be somewhat surprised.
And with him in charge the atmosphere at the club may well change to a more delightful sense of gay abandonment, woth adventurous football played to an auditorium filled with appreciative supporters as the club puts the glitch of 20-21 behind them.
Not that it ever happened , of course.