Celtic’s hunt for a new manager was initially a rather slow process. Neil Lennon left in quite a hurry but, with John Kennedy being placed in temporary charge, there hasn’t been a great desire to bring in someone for the remaining games of the season.
The boisterous pundit took charge of Sunderland and then Ipswich but hasn’t managed a team in his own right for ten years. He has been assistant to Martin O’Neill with the Republic of Ireland, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest but it’s feared that his best qualities are as a number two.
It would be a huge risk from the hierarchy to appoint someone who has been out of the game for such a long while, and hence they’d be better off looking elsewhere.
Chris Wilder is another candidate to have been lined up for the job, although sticking points have emerged this week.
The 53-year-old left Sheffield United a few weeks ago and will receive a payoff from the club for the next six months. However, if he takes up a new role, the money he earns courtesy of the Blades will be cut somewhat.
Desmond must ignore that, though, and go all-in for Wilder.
He might not have much experience at the top but his achievements with Sheffield United are remarkable. He took them from League One to the top half of the Premier League within a matter of years and he did so on a small budget.
You only need to heed words from Martin Keown. After Wilder left, he waxed lyrical about the manager on Match of the Day, comparing him to one of the greatest coaches we’ve ever seen.
“They’re in shellshock. Their Messiah. Their Alex Ferguson when you think of what he’s done for that football club. He’s their leader,” Keown commented.
Wilder is incredibly astute tactically, too – something from which the Bhoys would undoubtedly benefit following Lennon’s rather colourless final season.
He developed a 3-5-2 formation where he would create enormous overloads down the flanks. As well as the wing-backs providing an attacking threat, he’d get the centre-backs to overlap.
The wide players would hold their positions before the likes of Chris Basham and Jack O’Connell would get forward and provide even further width.
That kind of creative thinking is exactly what Celtic need in order to reinvigorate themselves.
Wilder is the man Desmond needs; not Keane. Even if a payoff prevents them from getting him until the summer, they must wait until then to hire their next boss.
Celtic cannot afford to get things wrong after such a horrendous season.