Next Celtic Manager: A look at all the early names in the frame to replace Neil Lennon

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 24 February 2021, 10:12

Celtic are searching for a new manager following the resignation of Neil Lennon whose second spell at the helm came to an end on Wednesday morning.

We’ve taken an early look at the next Celtic manager market which currently features a host of managers of all abilities and ages…

John Kennedy

Played for the club, was first team scout, spent time in charge of the youth teams where he won silverware. He went on to become first team coach, assistant, and now interim manager.

Knows the club inside out but is unlikely to be the glamour name fans crave as the club bids to bounce back from a disappointing season.

Celtic haven’t yet revealed whether Kennedy’s interim position is temporary or through to the end of the season, so it’s worth noting that should he manage 10 games then that will be classed as a win in the ‘next permanent manager market’ with most betting companies.

Rafa Benitez

The blockbuster name. The glamour appointment.

Rafa Benitez has been linked with Celtic for the last few months, speculation which was taken up a notch following his recent departure from Chinese Super League side Dalian Pro.

The popular Spaniard’s got the CV, the silverware, and he knows how to thrive in high-pressure environments. Should he showcase an interest, then Celtic must do everything within their power to lure him up to Parkhead.

Plus, Benitez versus his former captain Steven Gerrard would be absolute golddust.

Frank Lampard

Rangers took a gamble on Gerrard, who had no senior managerial experience upon his appointment. He endured a tough couple of seasons during which Celtic dominated from a silverware perspective, but patience was key in this scenario as the former England captain is now all set for domestic - and possibly European - glory this season.

Unlike Gerrard at the time, Lampard has managerial experience under his belt following spells at Derby and Chelsea. 

He’ll still be gutted at losing his job at the Blues but while he swiftly became yet another victim on the club’s managerial conveyor belt, he can take numerous positives from his 18-month tenure, including the development of a cluster of exciting young talents.

Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke’s stock is high. He became the first manager this millennium to lead Scotland through to a major tournament - the European Championships - which we all hope is still going to go ahead this summer.

It’s difficult to envision that he’ll leave his post before then, but could be an option once the tournament comes to a close.

Clarke has buckets of experience as a coach, has managed West Brom and Reading in England, and memorably propelled Kilmarnock from second bottom to fifth place on a shoestring budget.

Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe has been hotly linked with Celtic ever since the pressure first started to build on Neil Lennon.

The English manager has yet to return to the managerial arena since his summer Bournemouth exit, but now the Celtic job is officially up for grabs this could prove to be the ideal opportunity he’s been waiting for.

Howe memorably propelled the Cherries from League Two to the Premier League - across two spells - then spent five seasons in the top-flight; where he won plaudits for his attractive style of football.

Between those two spells he endured a blip at Burnley, but that shouldn’t put Celtic off.


Eddie Howe has been linked with Celtic for the last few months

Ralf Rangnick

The German tactical maestro whose attack-minded, pressing philosophy has influenced a whole host of his fellow countrymen, from Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel to Julian Nagelsmann.

Ralf Rangnick loves a project. He cannonballed minnows Hoffenheim from the third-tier to the Bundesliga, then elevated Red Bull Leipzig up the league ladder; as Sporting Director and manager, playing a key role in recruiting and developing a multitude of exciting young talents including Timo Werner.

Simply put, Rangnick transforms teams, both as a manager and Sporting Director. He’s also currently available for hire having left the Red Bull sphere last year. A 50/1 long shot, but one that would be fascinating.

Roberto Martinez

An interesting name who features in the top echelons of the market in the immediate aftermath of Lennon’s resignation.

Roberto Martinez famously won the FA Cup with Wigan, only to suffer relegation a few days later. He went on to experience a mixed three seasons at Everton, and has been Belgium manager since 2016.

He’s currently overseeing the country’s Golden Generation, who finished 3rd at the 2018 World Cup, and will now head into the Euros as one of the favourites for glory.

Similarly to Steve Clarke, with the Euros coming up it makes things a little bit difficult at the moment, while it’s worth noting that his contract doesn’t expire until 2022.

Andre Villas-Boas

A swift return to management for Andre Villas-Boas?

A few weeks ago, in a bizarre series of events, the Portuguese coach offered Marseille his resignation, was then suspended, and subsequently sacked.

He’s not been shy in speaking his mind in the past, while the main reason for his Marseille fallout actually involved a Celtic player, Olivier Ntcham, who was brought in on loan behind his back.

Villas-Boas led Marseille to 2nd last season, previously won the quadruple in his one and only season at Porto, had a difficult nine-month spell at Chelsea, followed by jobs at Spurs, Zenit and Shanghai SIPG, while he’s even dabbled in the world of rally driving.

Alex Neil

Previously led Hamilton into the top-flight - and defeated Celtic for the first time in nearly 80 years - then did the same with Norwich south of the border.

Has been in charge of Preston since 2017, but the club’s long-waited first ever promotion to the Premier League is likely to have to wait for another season as they are currently placed down in 16th.

Enzo Maresca

Enzo Maresca was part of Manuel Pellegrini’s coaching staff at West Ham, while he previously worked at Sevilla and Ascoli, and scouted for AC Milan.

Since August he’s been the Elite Development Squad head coach at Man City, who are currently top of the table.

Yet to hold an outright position in senior management, meaning an appointment could be viewed as a risk.

Anyone else?

Familiar faces Martin O’Neill, Roy Keane, Gordon Strachan, and Henrik Larsson all feature in the betting, while Arsene Wenger is out at 100/1 with some bookmakers.

Next Celtic Manager Odds

Eddie Howe

Previous Team: Bournemouth

John Kennedy

Current Team: Celtic

Roy Keane

Previous Team: Ipswich Town

Enzo Maresca

Previous Team: None

Carlos Queiroz

Previous Team: Colombia

Chris Wilder

Previous Team: Sheffield United

Jindrich Trpisovsky

Current Team: Slavia Praha

Jesse Marsch

Current Team: Red Bull Salzburg

Steve Clarke

Current Team: Scotland

Lucien Favre

Previous Team: Borussia Dortmund

Alex Neil

Previous Team: Preston North End

Frank Lampard

Previous Team: Chelsea

Martin O'Neill

Previous Team: Nottingham Forest

Rafael Benitez

Previous Team: Dalian Yifang

Phillip Cocu

Previous Team: Derby County

Roberto Martinez

Current Team: Belgium

Michael O'Neill

Current Team: Stoke City

Domenec Torrent

Previous Team: Flamengo

Robbie Keane

Previous Team: None

Malky Mackay

Previous Team: Wigan Athletic

Julien Stephan

Previous Team: Rennes

Damien Duff

Previous Team: None

Sean Dyche

Current Team: Burnley

Henrik Larsson

Previous Team: Helsingborg

Joachim Low

Current Team: Germany

Diego Martinez

Current Team: Granada

Ralf Rangnick

Previous Team: Leipzig

Wayne Rooney

Current Team: Derby County

Jack Ross

Current Team: Hibernian

Andriy Shevchenko

Current Team: Ukraine

Andre Villas Boas

Previous Team: Marseille

Slaven Bilic

Current Team: Beijing Guoan

Scott Brown

Previous Team: None

Nicky Butt

Previous Team: None

John Collins

Previous Team: Charleroi

Darren Fletcher

Previous Team: None

Thierry Henry

Previous Team: Montreal Impact

Gary Holt

Previous Team: Livingston

Mark Hughes

Previous Team: Southampton

Paul Lambert

Previous Team: Ipswich Town

Shaun Maloney

Previous Team: None

Steve McClaren

Previous Team: Queens Park Rangers

Derek McInnes

Previous Team: Aberdeen

Dan Petrescu

Previous Team: CFR Cluj

Stiliyan Petrov

Previous Team: None

Sergei Rebrov

Current Team: Ferencvaros

Marco Silva

Previous Team: Everton

Erik Ten Hag

Current Team: Ajax

Arsene Wenger

Previous Team: Arsenal

Gianfranco Zola

Previous Team: Birmingham City

Paolo Di Canio

Previous Team: Sunderland

Ralph Hasenhuttl

Current Team: Southampton

Valerien Ismael

Current Team: Barnsley

Mick McCarthy

Current Team: Cardiff City

Johan Mjallby

Previous Team: Gefle

Tony Mowbray

Current Team: Blackburn Rovers

David Moyes

Current Team: West Ham United

Gordon Strachan

Previous Team: Scotland

Patrick Vieira

Previous Team: Nice

Mauricio Pochettino

Current Team: Paris St Germain

Sam Allardyce

Current Team: West Bromwich Albion

Craig Burley

Previous Team: None

Kenny Dalglish

Previous Team: Liverpool

John Hartson

Previous Team: None

Jose Mourinho

Current Team: Tottenham Hotspur

Alan Pardew

Previous Team: ADO Den Haag

Chris Sutton

Previous Team: Lincoln City

Brendan Rodgers

Current Team: Leicester City

Ronny Deila

Current Team: New York City

Ally McCoist

Previous Team: Rangers

Odds Correct as of 2021-04-16 10:42:26
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