This week feels like it was a landmark one in Celtic’s quest to bring a new manager to Parkhead.
It has been a drawn-out affair since Neil Lennon resigned at Paradise but things have clearly taken on a renewed sense of purpose after Dominic McKay’s arrival behind the scenes.
That said, Dermot Desmond will ultimately have the final call on who’ll coach the first team.
FFC have assessed other options in recent days, looking at the need for an attack-minded and flexible coach. Celtic could have secured that in Jesse Marsch before he penned a deal with RB Leipzig but there are other top coaches out there.
Capped 29 times by Scotland, the 35-year-old certainly knows what Celtic means and should be aware of the club’s history and heritage.
Though, the primary reason for getting him through the door is his ability to transform and mould things specifically to how he wants them.
Much like Brendan Rodgers, it’s in the lower leagues of English football where Martin has learnt his trade, bringing an aesthetically pleasing brand of football to Buckinghamshire.
The young coach only has a win rate of around 38% but there is more than meets the eye to his record. He walked into Stadium MK in 2019 with the club sitting in the League One relegation zone after losing eight of their last nine games.
However, Martin has totally transformed them, ensuring they survived last term before launching an assault on the play-offs in 2020/21.
His side now sit ninth in the third tier of English football, a position that caps off his wonderful work.
Speaking about his achievements, MK Dons chairman Peter Winkleman once said: “Last season is definitely a season I want to forget but one amazing thing happened – hiring Russell Martin. He has delivered everything that I hoped he would.”
Immediately, you can sense the expectation for what he could bring to Paradise if Desmond made a similar move.
“We gave him a really hard task,” Winkleman added. “He had to take over a team that was in the relegation zone and had completely lost its confidence, with strikers that still weren’t back.”
“He had to change completely the way that we played, to bring us back to the Milton Keynes Dons identity and our philosophy. I think Russell is a serious manager and I’m really excited to see what we can do next year.”
Martin has already proven he can deliver to a strict brief and he has done so in an impressive fashion. He is an intelligent young manager and plays a very pleasing brand of football.
So far this season, MK Dons have enjoyed more possession (60.5%) than any other side in League One. Coincidentally, that’s also one of the highest tallies in the whole of Europe.
That’s a particularly promising start, but the number of goals they’ve bagged in League One this term adds further allure. They’ve hit the back of the net on 63 occasions; the sixth-highest number in the entire division.
Like former Hoops boss, Rodgers, he likes his teams to play in a vertical fashion, using patient football in order to tire the opposition.
Martin has only been managing for two years but he has plenty in his locker. He’s already revived a club in a considerable mess and he’s done so with attractive football along the way.
With Celtic in need of a big rebuild after a campaign without a trophy, the former defender would be an astute appointment. He could just transform their luck.