Whoever replaces Neil Lennon as Celtic manager will have an almighty task on their hands.
Fans will be demanding and expectant after a torrid campaign that will soon see them relinquish their grasp on the SPFL title.
Their biggest rivals are ahead of them by 15 points and now without a permanent head coach, the future is rather uncertain for the Bhoys.
That could be a positive, though, especially with Peter Lawwell departing in the summer when he retires. Fresh ideas could be exactly what the team and indeed, the hierarchy, needs.
Another name to be linked with the job is Preston boss Alex Neil. Football FanCast’s regular guest voice Steve Howey exclusively told us last month; “I think he would like that job. Given the fact he’s Scottish, I think he would take it.”
Indeed, it would surely be hard for Neil to turn down a job as big as Celtic. He is just 39 and although young, we’ve already seen fresh faces such as his achieve big things in the game.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is in his 30s and has won the FA Cup while another young coach dreaming big is RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann.
Of course, Neil doesn’t possess the same sort of pedigree but it shows there are benefits to fresh and young thinking. Certainly, the Preston boss could help bring something new to Parkhead, particularly in the way of meticulously thinking and preparing.
Former Hoops goalkeeper Jonathan Gould raved about the manager earlier this week. He told The Glasgow Times: “Alex’s detail, the way he prepares his teams, is impeccable. I have had the privilege of working with a lot of good managers as a player and as a coach. Alex is one of the few coaches who can come up with his strategy on a Monday and can translate that onto a football field on a Saturday.
“He doesn’t do it just by using a whiteboard or a PowerPoint, he does by coaching the lads from Monday to Friday. It is quite a rare quality. It says a lot about him as a student of the game and how much he thinks about football. He has got a certain quality that has seen him be successful.”
You’d expect a modern-day manager to be adept on the training field but with Lennon, that’s often been one part of his repertoire that’s seemingly failed him.
Of course, the Hoops still won the treble under his stewardship last season but everything has come crashing back down to earth this term. Charlie Nicholas thinks that could be because of what’s happened behind closed doors at Lennoxtown.
He said back in December: “For me, Celtic have went lazy. Not just with the signings but in the way they’ve went about it,” he began.
Nicholas continued: “This is not a punishment for Neil Lennon, in terms of what I’m saying here, but they were coached every day without fail by Brendan Rodgers, thorough in every way he went about it.
“But then Neil has changed it a little bit and it doesn’t really look to have a fluency or rhythm. They’re awkward on the ball, Europe has been a problem.”
Forget the results, this alone should have sent shockwaves through the Celtic hierarchy, particularly when Lennon was still using elements of what Rodgers had put in place.
Simon Ferry revealed last year: “I know they still do Brendan Rodgers training, which worries me. If you’re the manager, you can’t be doing someone else’s thing, you need to do what you want to do.”
Thus, Neil has the potential to be game-changing. He is adept on the training pitch and as Gould says, he can translate what happens throughout the week into a match day.
Having someone as capable of him actually coaching players should improve their chances of reclaiming former glories.
Under Lennon, high-quality coaching was evidently lacking on a far too frequent basis.