Ronny Deila to depart Celtic: Six shouts for next Bhoys boss
Holly Thackeray | April 20, 2016
Who is next in line for Celtic throne?
Scottish giants Celtic have confirmed manager Ronny Deila will leave the Glasgow juggernaut’s dugout at the end of this season, following the bitter blow of being ousted from the Scottish Cup semi-finals by fierce Old Firm rivals Rangers on spot-kicks.
Lacklustre showings in Europe as well as a League Cup semi-final loss appear to have compounded views that the Norwegian was not right for the post, despite Deila’s haul of two major trophies in as many terms, with the gaffer looking almost certain to steer Celtic to a fifth successive Scottish Premiership title at the end of this campaign.
Speaking of the decision to part ways, departing Bhoys boss Deila said: “It is vital that the club comes first and instead of me being the focus, hopefully now the team and the club can be the focus as we enter this final important period of the season.
“I was delighted in my first year to bring our fans a League and cup double and enjoy some European nights at Celtic Park, and I am pleased this season to be well in contention to win another Premiership title.
“There have been some disappointments and times when we have not achieved what we had hoped for and I’m realistic and honest enough to admit that,” finished the Scandinavian tactician.
Still, as the Celts prepare to start afresh, which coaching option could rock up this summer? Coral contemplate six shouts and present superb odds in the next Celtic manager market…
This name always seems to be in the frame, as former Everton manager Moyes (7/4 favourite for the job) seeks a station at which to restore his flagging reputation after rocky stints with Manchester United and Real Sociedad.
The Glasgow-born ex-Celtic centre back fits the criteria in that he has close ties to the club and a wealth of experience on the continent. Yet, recently relegated Aston Villa could prove a real rival for the Scot’s signature and he might be better suited to the second city side with his ability to organise a staunch defence, as Bhoys support crave a splash of flair at Celtic Park.
Another gaffer for the Glasgow team to consider is Lennon, a name on many a pundit’s lips after the Northern Irishman left struggling side Bolton Wanderers by mutual consent in March, having led them to the Championship relegation zone.
The 44-year-old’s Trotters challenge may not have gone to plan but there were extenuating circumstances at the Macron Stadium. A one-time Leicester City and Manchester City midfielder, Lennon would be the simple choice to return to Celtic Park having won 11 major trophies there in his successful stint as a player and five as a coach.
Lennon (an 11/4 chance) knows Celtic inside-out, and the boyhood fan is 11/4 to make his return as Bhoys boss despite his stock being low at the moment. When asked of his interest in the position, he said: “That’s the 54 million dollar question. I have never hidden my affinity with the club.
“Would I like to go back? If the opportunity arose to speak to the board, absolutely,” Lennon finished. Though, some say you should never go back. And, while he should get plaudits for leaving his comfort zone, Celtic may want to now look forward instead of to the past.
A truly controversial character, Keane is known for his unique man management style and would surely get any work-shirking Celtic players in shape. Currently preparing to head to Euro 2016 as Republic of Ireland assistant manager to Celtic coaching legend Martin O’Neill, the Manchester United midfield legend may find himself tempted to take on his mentor’s former post one the tournament ends.
Keane is 6/1 third favourite to be Celtic’s chosen one, but it might be a risky move. The 44-year-old from Cork spent the last six months of his playing career at Celtic Park, where he was no less outspoken, but his managerial record is mixed at best.
From a hero at Sunderland, who pulled the Wearsiders to a Championship title and Premier League promotion, the Mackems situation imploded but a season later, while troubled times at Ipswich Town and as Aston Villa assistant followed. Celtic surely require a steadier hand.
Larsson is not exactly an outsider at 12/1 to return to the ground which gave him so much glory. As Celtic’s third all-time top scorer with a tremendous 242 strikes in just 312 games, and as the man who has bagged most European goals for the Bhoys, could former Sweden sharpshooter Larsson be the one to help the Scottish side make waves in European competition again? He does, after all, know what it takes to reach a UEFA Cup final and win a Champions League medal as a player.
The Helsingborg-born hero could be just the boost the Celts require as Rangers return to rival them for the top-flight trophy, but is currently bossing his hometown in the Allsvenskan. Still, the lure of Celtic could well see the lauded and lethal striker’s head turned.
“Everyone knows what my feelings are for the club. I will go to Scotland sooner or later,” Larsson once said of his future intentions for a Bhoys reunion. Hmmmm…
Celtic are reportedly considering what would be a coaching coup, with ex-Liverpool tactician Rodgers (16/1) apparently on their radar. The Norther Irishman did great work with Swansea City, taking them to the Championship play-offs and promotion and then keeping the Swans secure in the Premier League, before being picked to take over the Reds reins.
Despite a bright start which saw a second placed league finish for Liverpool and Rodgers named LMA Manager of The Year 2014, things began to go a little sour during the end of his tenure.
Without a job since October 2015, Rodgers might just leap at the chance of a club where he can compete in Europe and have an excellent chance of collecting silverware every season. While, his once lauded possession play and attacking intent, as well as potential player pull and connections, could see the coach prove a success up in Scotland.
Who could have predicted after his first game as Northern Ireland gaffer ended in defeat to Norway and the second a thrashing by the Dutch, that O’Neill would guide the Green and White Army to their first-ever European Championship and a major tournament appearance after a 30-year drought? But do that he did, and the 46-year-old former youth coach, could already be eyeing his next move.
Unlikely to better the feat of reaching France, the Celtic job (which he is 20/1 to take) would be an intriguing opportunity for O’Neill, who has shown he knows how to inspire his sides to dig deep and can extract the best from what he has as well as promote youth, to splash the cash as a club manager.