Who are the Main Contenders For The Celtic Job?
Barely has the dust settled on the latest football season, and the gears of the managerial machine are already kicking into gear. Mauricio Pochettino is in at Chelsea, and across London, it seems that Ange Postecoglou is all set to be unveiled as the new man in the hot seat at Tottenham Hotspur.
Should the Australian coach sign on the dotted line, that will, of course, leave a vacancy at Celtic Park – and some pretty big boots to fill, with Postecoglou having landed a double and a treble during his two full seasons in Glasgow. Whilst not quite a done deal just yet, bookmakers offering the best betting offers seem convinced enough to have opened a market on who the next manager of the Bhoys will be, with the following names cropping up amongst the best sports articles online.
The Celtic Park faithful will need little introduction to Brendan Rodgers, with the Northern Irishman having enjoyed a phenomenally successful time of things during his previous stint at the club. If anyone can repeat the performance of Postecoglou, it may well be Rodgers.
In charge between May 2016 and February 2019, Rodgers led the club to back-to-back trebles in 2016/17 and 2017/18, with Celtic incredibly going unbeaten in all three domestic competitions in the first of those seasons.
Things may have ended on a low note at Leicester – and it certainly didn’t work out too well for the Foxes following his departure – but overall, Rodgers boasted a solid record at the King Power – headlined by an FA Cup success in 2020/21. Likely to have many happy memories from his time in Glasgow, he may be tempted by a return.
Born in Glasgow in 1963, and brought up as a Celtic fan by his die-hard Bhoys-supporting father, David Moyes is yet to manage in his homeland. Could now be the time? It seems likely that the 60-year-old will, at the very least, be attracted by the job on an emotional level, and he did also pick up a league winners medal at Celtic Park during his playing career.
The main question is whether Moyes considers he has unfinished business at West Ham – particularly coming off the back of a season which was underwhelming in the league but did see the Hammers reach the Europa Conference League Final. Well respected and vastly experienced – with over 1000 games under his belt as a manager – it is no surprise to see his name in the mix.
Much like Brendan Rodgers at Leicester, the decision to dispense with the services of Jesse Marsch did not work out as planned for the Leeds board. It certainly seemed a strange decision at the time, with the US coach having done such a sound job of recalibrating the side away from the distinctive style of Marcelo Bielsa. Leeds were, of course, relegated despite the best efforts of Javi Gracia and Sam Allardyce, but Marsch’s reputation remained largely intact.
Boasting an impressively consistent body of work in the MLS, Austria, and Germany, Marsch’s high energy and attractive brand of football would be a good fit for the existing squad. On paper, this move would appear to make a lot of sense, with the prospect of once again managing a side in the Champions League likely to prove an attractive proposition for the 49-year-old.
The name of Graham Potter has also been mentioned in dispatches. However, with the former Chelsea boss seemingly intent on taking some time away from the game, a more realistic target may be another man who has earned his managerial chops in Scandanavia – Kjetil Knutsen.
Whereas Potter worked miracles with the Swedish side Östersund, Knutsen has been performing similar feats of brilliance with Bodø/Glimt in Norway. Despite being established in 1916, Bodø/Glimt had failed to win the league title in the first 100 years of their existence. Following the arrival of Knutsen in 2018, they have now won two, in addition to a first-ever appearance in the Champions League Group stages, with the highlight of that European adventure being a 6-1 battering of José Mourinho’s Roma. Knutsen is undoubtedly a little riskier than other names on the list but may well be up to the task.
Or perhaps the Celtic supremos will opt to keep the job in-house. John Kennedy has certainly served his apprenticeship – acting as First Team Coach and Assistant Manager to Neil Lennon, Ronny Deila, Brendan Rodgers, and Ange Postecoglou.
A hugely promising player, Kennedy’s ten-year career at Celtic was unfortunately decimated by injury, but he nevertheless remains a popular figure with supporters. With so much experience working under such a talented and diverse array of managers, he may now be ready to step into the spotlight. There is, however, a major stumbling block with this one as, if Postecoglou does take the Spurs job, he may well take Kennedy with him.