Three Possible ‘Out Of The Box’ Celtic Managerial Candidates

The Celtic board seem to be doubling down their support for current manager Neil Lennon, in spite of the protests from angry Hoops supporters this past weekend.

But if this poor form continues then I have no doubts that the club’s hierarchy will have to come to the realisation that change needs to be made sooner rather than later.

The current names being linked with the post in the media fail to excite.

Martin O’Neill and Gordon Strachan may have been there before but times change and I’m not sure these two gents have changed with them.

Former AFC Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe did enjoy a successful period at The Cherries but he couldn’t turn things around last season and he would arrive at Celtic Park needing to get more from the current crop of players.

If I were the Celtic board, I’d be looking further afield. I think the slept walked into their last appointment and that has got them into this current sticky predicament as they chase an historic tenth top flight title in a row.

I’ve come up with three possibilities that would bring different things. One is a talented manager currently making a name for himself in the British leagues, one has tasted success in foreign leagues and the last one is an experienced British gaffer that has a history of turning a crisis around.

Thomas Frank

Frank is doing a great job in the English Championship with Brentford.

The forty-seven year old has bossed The Bees in over 100 games and has enjoyed a better winning percentage average of any manager in the Brentford hottest (over a similar amount of games). The Danish coach took his side into the play-offs last season, losing the final to Fulham.

Now some in the Celtic support might be a bit sceptical of talented Scandinavian coaches after Ronny Deila’s tenure in Glasgow’s east end but Thomas Frank’s experience in the British game makes him a bit different.

In his current role, Thomas has managed to bring together a multicultural squad and get the best out of them.

What will impress the Celtic board is Frank’s ability to add value onto players. At Brentford he has worked with Neal Maupay Ollie Watkins, Said Benrahma and Ezri Konsa who are all now shining in the Premier League (usually being sold on for huge profits). He currently has former Hoops target Ivan Toney playing for him and the striker has hit an incredible thirteen league goals in fourteen outings!

Brentford play with a fluid 4-3-3 formation and like attacking down the wings, dare I say the Celtic way.

Leonardo Jardim

Celtic fans might want a bit more of a glamorous name, who has also won some silverware.

In that regard maybe they can try and lure Leonardo Jardim to Parkhead.

The Portuguese boss is currently out of a job and that will always be tempting to Peter Lawwell and Co. But if you look at his CV you’ll see that he has worked at Sporting Lisbon, Olympiacos and AS Monaco.

The forty-six year old won the Segunda Liga in Portugal with Beira-Mar, captured the Greek Super League and cup double in 2013 and then wrestled the Ligue 1 title away from big spending PSG in 2017.

That success in France came out of attacking football and Jardim’s ability to bring talented youngsters in to the side like Fabinho, Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Benjamin Mendy, Thomas Lemar and Kylian Mbappe. Monaco scored a whopping 105 times in that championship winning era.

They all played as a team, with lots of interchanging, but importantly they all knew their role and what they brought to the table. That only comes when you understand your manager.

As well as success, he also went back to the Principality when they were in a precarious position after Thierry Henry’s time in charge and he managed to guide ASM away from relegation.

He seems more modest than say someone like Jose Mourinho and that might attract Celtic:

“What excites me is the pitch, not the media. I am not going to change personality in order for big clubs to give me a call. I am going to remain Leonardo Jardim. I am not the Special One, the Special Two or the Special Three. I am the Normal One.”

Via Get French Football News

They idea of creating history at a big club like Celtic will be tempting but Jardim might also see what happened with Brendan Rodgers and see it as a way to get himself a big job in England.

Sam Allardyce

Ok, ok I know this one is going to be a bit of a hard sell but an Allardyce appointment could be seen as a compromise between the board and the support.

Instead of bringing back Strachan or O’Neill, you’d still get an experienced boss in Big Sam if that’s what the board want. But importantly he’s been in high level club management recently compared to the former Celtic bosses.

The former England manager has a long history of saving teams in crisis. The first thing that he’ll do is work on the defence and I think we can agree that the current Celtic defence needs to be worked on!

I also think it’s a bit of a myth that he can’t allow his side’s to play attractive football. I don’t think the likes of Jay Jay Okocha and Youri Djorkeaff would stay around if they weren’t enjoying their football.

Now you could sweeten the deal with the fans by making it short term and having a pathway in place for a young coach to takeover like Shaun Maloney.

I think Sam Allaryce would jump at the chance but again it’s a hard sell to an already disgruntled support.

Feel free to list your best candidates in the comments section.

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