Is Lucien Favre actually in contention for the Celtic job?

by The Sack Race / 30 March 2021, 15:44

Lucien Favre, the former Borussia Dortmund manager, was a 25/1 shot when he featured as one of the five intriguing outsiders for the Celtic job in a piece on our site last month.

Since then Eddie Howe, Roy Keane, Enzo Maresca, Chris Wilder, and Jesse Marsch have all taken top billing in a betting market which has displayed just about every manager out there. Interim boss John Kennedy also remains in the mix. However, the favourite changes by the day, with Howe the current odds-on frontrunner.

News then broke today (Tuesday) that Favre had become the latest manager to be interested in the Hoops post, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Favre, out at 50/1 (Paddy Power) this morning, is now priced at 14/1 with the same bookmaker. Although, you can still back him at 33/1 with Bet Victor.

If there’s any substance to the story then that’s a pretty decent price, however on closer inspection the report in the Mail contains no concrete evidence to support the piece’s title, which was: “Lucien Favre is interested in becoming new Celtic boss, with former Borussia Dortmund manager throwing his hat in the ring alongside Roy Keane, Eddie Howe and Thierry Henry”.

In fact, within the article it even says: “On Monday night, his [Favre’s] representatives failed to respond to Sportsmail’s enquiries about the Celtic vacancy.”

The claim that Favre is actually interested in the position must therefore be taken with a pinch of salt, but that’s not to say he isn’t keen on the job.

After all, the Celtic vacancy should appeal to most managers. 

After a poor season the Scottish club are planning a structural overall as they look to bounce back next term. The club’s famed fervent fanbase should be back in stadiums by then, there’s the obvious chance to win silverware in the form of the league title and domestic cups, plus a venture in Europe.

As for Favre himself, he is currently out-of-work and could well be eyeing up a summer return to management. The 63-year-old has already been loosely linked with Bayer Leverkusen and Lyon.

The Swiss coach has plenty of experience on his CV, having worked in the Bundesliga at Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach, and Hertha Berlin.

He came close to winning the title in his first season at Dortmund (2018/19) but costly dropped points in the closing stages meant Bayern Munich edged it by two points. They mounted another charge last season but Bayern’s brilliance in 2020 stole the show again.

Favre did lead the club into the Champions League knockout stages earlier this season, however with the pressure mounting he lost his job in December due to the club’s underwhelming league displays, which culminated in a heavy 5-1 defeat to Stuttgart.

It would, however, be harsh to criticise him for finishing second to Bayern, even if Dortmund were in a favourable position. He did leave the club with the best managerial win rate (61%) in their history.

Favre favours a possession based approach, which at times could become overly cautious and too patient, yet that didn’t prevent Dortmund from scoring a hatful of league goals during his tenure (81 then 84 in his two full seasons). 

In his homeland, Favre won consecutive league titles and the cup with Zurich; he also lifted the cup with Servette, and won promotions with Yverdon-Sport and Echallens.

He’s managed in France too, at Nice, whom he took to 3rd in Ligue 1 - their best finish since 2002 - and into the Champions League.

Favre has a track record of developing young players, most prominently Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland, while Bundesliga commentator @RaeComm has delivered some informative tweets on Favre’s time at Dortmund which you could can find below.

He's definitely an interesting name for Celtic to consider but questions do remain as to whether he's actually thrown his hat into the ring.

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