Ronny Deila is on his way out of Celtic – and speculation will now turn to who will replace him at Parkhead.
The Norwegian boss had paid the price for disappointing results this season, culminating in their 5-4 penalty shootout defeat to Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday.
He’ll remain in charge of the team for the remaining five games of the Premiership season where he will attempt to win his second league title and the club’s fifth in a row.
But who will take over from Deila when he does leave in the summer?
David Moyes has emerged as the preferred choice of our readers to take on the job, but Neil Lennon and Brendan Rodgers have also been mentioned as potential candidates.
However, in an attempt to weed out the good from the bad, who definitely doesn’t deserve to be the next Hoops manager?
We’ve decided to look at the middle of the pack and those who appear to have an outside chance of taking over from Deila:
Mackay was mentioned as a candidate before Deila even got the job at Celtic Park and has in the past spoken about it being his dream to manage the club. Ladbrokes have him listed at 10/1 to replace the Norwegian manager – seventh favourite – but does he deserve to be? Apart from his past playing with Celtic, Mackay has shown nothing else recently in his managerial career to suggest that he’s the outstanding candidate to lead the team. He left Cardiff under a huge cloud and lasted just six months at Wigan after that before being sacked. Add in that he’s won only one major title in his time as a manager then you should definitely be counting Mackay out of the running.
Coyle to Celtic is a rumour which feels like it really will never end. The Scottish manager has no link with Celtic apart from several public comments about how much he’d like to manage the club he supports. It was revealed in 2013 that Coyle, while Wigan boss, had a clause in his contract that he’d be allowed to leave if Celtic came calling. Then, before Deila got the job in 2014, Coyle went public about how attractive the role was. But, like Mackay, he’s shown nothing in his recent managerial career to make him a viable candidate. Coyle may have started out in the dugout with success at St Johnstone and Burnley, but he led the latter to the Premier League in 2009 and has experienced sackings at both Bolton and Wigan since then. Surely Celtic should be looking higher than the current manager of Houston Dynamo for their next boss?
This is where a lot of Celtic fans will disagree – but hear us out. There’s no denying Larsson’s return would be celebrated by the majority of the Hoops support. He’s a club legend following a seven-year stint at Parkhead as a player in which he became their third all-time leading goalscorer. Not only did he score a lot of goals, but he regularly hit the net in big games and what fans would give to have him back to inspire them to more glory. However, Larsson is far from the finished article when it comes to his managerial abilities. Celtic approached him ahead of making Deila their man two years ago, but the Swede didn’t believe it was the right time. Now, it’s still probably not the right time. Larsson is currently in charge of Helsingborgs in his homeland and his team currently find themselves fourth bottom of the league table after winning just one of their first four games of the season. But, ignoring his team’s recent form and his lack of experience in the dugout, do Celtic really want to bring back a legend when there’s a possibility it might not work? Imagine the support getting to a point where they have to pressurise the board to get rid of Henrik Larsson. That’s not a situation the fans should want.
Do we really need to explain this one? Some weren’t very happy when Collins was appointed Deila’s number two and the ill-feeling towards him won’t have subsided following the Norwegian’s campaign in charge of the club. Of all those included on this list, Collins is probably the worst option.
Keane is another one who has flirted with the Celtic job in the past – being heavily linked when Lennon left in 2014, but failing to get it because, in his words, the club’s offer “failed to rock my boat”. Keane is a divisive figure, but his support for the club and past playing experience will garner him support among Celtic fans. But has anything really changed since he knocked the role back two years ago? For one, he’s no longer the Aston Villa number two, instead purely focusing on his job assisting Martin O’Neill as Ireland national team manager. For two, are Celtic going to push the boat out for Keane now when they couldn’t do it two years ago? And three, Keane last managed a club on his own five years ago! He’s not the right man for Celtic right now.
Celtic fans – would you actually take any of the above?