It’s not often we’ve had a chance to say it over the last decade, but this has been a poor season for Celtic.
So regularly the dominant force in Scottish football they’re receiving a very high dosage of their own medicine in 2020/21.
They are significantly off the pace in the SPFL and all hopes of winning a record tenth successive crown have fallen away.
Neil Lennon is miraculously still in the job. Supporters have voiced their concerns in aggressive fashion outside Parkhead but the club’s hierarchy – Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell – are sticking by him.
The ramifications of which could last longer than just this season too. With a potential 12-man exodus on the cards in the summer, the future isn’t looking too pretty for the Bhoys.
So, who could the man be to revive their fortunes? A certain Ralf Rangnick could do the trick. After turning down the chance to manage Chelsea, Hoops fans have been lusting after his signature. Though, according to commentator Derek Rae, the German would have to be enthused by the project in Glasgow to join.
What sort of ideologies would he bring with him? Well, he was described as the “architect” for the successful club that RB Leipzig have become. Rangnick is the pioneer of the modern-day press and he also utilises a very specific transfer strategy.
In Germany, he devised a plan where the club would exclusively sign players under the age of 23. Rangnick appointed a sporting director in Markus Krosche, someone who opened up on the method last year. He told BBC Sport: “We are looking for young, talented and hungry players. We are not willing to pay an enormous amount of money for so-called football stars, we want to find and develop the stars of tomorrow.”
Celtic have, of course, done that already with players like Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer but it’s hard to suggest they come close to the likes of Timo Werner – one of Krosche and Rangnick’s discoveries in Germany.
This bodes well for the younger individuals at Celtic, but one player it doesn’t bode well for is Scott Brown. The 35-year-old’s contract expires this summer and with Rangnick favouring an approach towards the players of tomorrow, Brown doesn’t stand a chance of staking a claim at Parkhead.
The midfielder may have scored in the win over Kilmarnock but he has largely had a poor season, looking off the pace and out of position on a regular basis. The Hoops stalwart has been a key part of Celtic’s success in the last ten years but it’s safe to say his days are becoming increasingly numbered under Lennon.
Under Rangnick, they would surely be done and dusted. Like Frank Lampard – another of Celtic’s potential managerial targets – he prefers to work with young players.
Brown should be running for the hills.