It remains to be seen how John Kennedy fares in the Celtic job. He began his tenure as interim boss at Parkhead with a 1-0 win on Saturday.
It wasn’t the most convincing of wins over Aberdeen but just securing three points is an achievement for the Hoops right now.
Rangers will go on and win the title regardless of what Kennedy does in the job but what’s important is finding out whether he is equipped for the role full time.
Of course, the Hoops hierarchy may well have more ambitious ideas. Given the size and stature of the club, they should have other suitors up their sleeve.
The American coach was Leipzig’s assistant and has now swapped German shores for Austrian ones. He has done exceptional things since taking charge at Salzburg in 2019. They have given Liverpool a run for their money in the Champions League, losing 4-3 at Anfield, and he has brought players like Taki Minamino and most notably Erling Haaland to recognition.
He oversaw the Norwegian’s development last term, a season where he ended up with 16 goals in 14 Austrian Bundesliga games. That was before his January switch to Borussia Dortmund.
Though, as others will tell you, there are further plus points to his managerial skills than just player development.
Speaking recently, Celtic legend Packie Bonner reserved fine praise for Marsch, urging Celtic to move for the 47-year-old: “I want to put up Jesse Marsch as a contender. He’s the man for me,” he told BBC Sportsound.
“Of course, he has the experience now being with Salzburg. He’s got good English, good communication skills, but he thinks outside the box. That’s what I like. He is in a Brendan Rodgers-mould, that’s where I think the club needs to go,” Bonner concluded.
Any manager that’s similar to Rodgers is a major positive. The Northern Irishman was a huge influence on Celtic and took them to seven trophies, developing young players like Kieran Tierney and going through the 2016/17 domestic campaign unbeaten.
What’s crucial, though, is Marsch’s ability to think differently – a primary reason for why Bonner holds him in such high esteem.
It’s hard to suggest that Lennon ever really thought outside the box. He tinkered with his formation towards the end of his tenure but as the 1-0 defeat to Ross County will tell you, it didn’t always pay off.
Marsch has lost just 15 of his 78 matches as Salzburg manager; a win success of 65%. With that in mind, it’s hard to ignore pleas for him to become the new Celtic manager.
Importantly, he could offer something completely different to Lennon. That’s not just because he’s like Rodgers but because he takes every situation differently. After becoming the first American coach to win a Champions League match in September 2019, he told The Athletic:
“I have my philosophy on leadership and I have my philosophy on playing and I try to bring them together and create something unique to every club I’m at, and to honour that (club), but also something that’s unique to me.”
Somewhat unique to Marsch is his pressing, something born out of the Ralf Rangnick and Red Bull school of how to play football. Also unique to him is how his players attack space.
He is a meticulous and progressive thinker, something that already outweighs Lennon’s capabilities.
He’d be an astute appointment for the Bhoys.