In recent months, a whole host of managers have been tipped to replace Neil Lennon at Celtic.
The Northern Irishman has endured a torrid season at Parkhead, one that sees his team sit a massive 23 points behind Rangers in their quest for the SPFL crown.
They were dumped out of both the Champions League and Europa League while they have shipped goals at will. They have conceded 13 more than the Gers despite playing two fewer matches.
Though, we want to focus on a man first discussed in the same breath as the Hoops back in November. That happens to be 62-year-old Ralf Rangnick.
Commentator Derek Rae revealed last year that for the Bhoys to get him, it would have to be a project that really interests him, one that allows the coach to do things his way.
At first glance, this doesn’t put Celtic in a good spot. After all, Nick Hammond does the recruitment while Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond make all the decisions at the highest level.
However, if Desmond can lure Rangnick to Parkhead, he could completely revolutionise Celtic. The things he achieved and introduced at RB Leipzig were incredible, but it all spurned from his early days in management.
In the 1990s, the German earned the tag of a “professor.” Take a look at football now and you’ll notice that a host of teams play with a high press. Think Manchester City, Liverpool or even Leeds and Southampton in the Premier League – they all play with that system.
The method of winning the ball back within eight seconds of losing it has become paramount. Though, the ideology behind that was pioneered by Rangnick.
“Five or 10 years ago, you were not afraid of what the other team was doing while you had the ball. Now, most teams in most leagues have some sort of plan for how they can hurt you when they do not have possession,” the veteran coach once documented.
Though not only was he a pioneer on the field, but he also brought in revolutionary methods off it. At Leipzig, he became what German reporter Guido Schafer describes as an “architect.”
He determined the way he wanted Leipzig to play – with a high press – and then set upon signing players to fulfil those needs. Remarkably, every player he wanted to sign was under the age of 23. Rangnick discovered the likes of Naby Keita and Timo Werner, players who quickly became stars in the Bundesliga.
But his eye-catching methods didn’t stop there. He expected players to arrive at training 90 minutes early in order to undergo saliva and blood tests. As a result, he was able to work out how hard his squad would be able to train. They would also test gluten and lactose and consequently tailor diets to each individual’s requirements. He also brought in a sleep coach.
Rangnick is the definition of meticulous and if Desmond could bring him to Celtic, the very face of the football club could change.
He is a pioneer of football and if anyone can revive the Glaswegians, it’s him. He seemed to know exactly what was required in order to take Leipzig up the football pyramid.
Celtic have long failed to capitalise on their dominance and really make a statement in European football. Getting rid of Lennon and hiring Rangnick could finally change that.