This has been a horrendous season for Celtic.
Over 20 points behind their fierce rivals and out of Europe, Neil Lennon is under the microscope and quite possibly facing the sack.
The Hoops have won just seven of their last 21 games in all competitions and fans have already taken to Parkhead to protest against the manager and the club’s hierarchy. Thus, change should be in the air.
They haven’t won in 2021 and with that in mind, Dermot Desmond needs to move sooner rather than later in terms of bringing a new head coach to Celtic.
Lennon isn’t good enough and by the Bhoys’ high standards, they have been woeful this term.
One manager linked with the hot seat is Eddie Howe. Though, a new name was brought to the forefront of our attentions this week when former midfielder Stiliyan Petrov discussed none other than Roy Keane.
Speaking on the Celtic Huddle podcast, the Bulgarian began: “I mean what a name to come up for the job. I think Roy’s name was mentioned a couple of years ago if I’m not wrong. To be honest it’s something that’s needed.”
Petrov continued: “Does Roy Keane go and compete with Steven Gerrard and compete with the same intensity, with the same desire? Yes he does. Is he going to be somebody the Celtic fans would like to see in charge? I think so. Would I look forward to it? Yes. Would that fire get back to Celtic players again? I think it would.”
This is an interesting shout and it’s hard to say that Keane wouldn’t go in there and shake the players up. Though, whether supporters would entertain the idea of seeing him back in Glasgow is uncertain.
That being said, the 49-year-old’s personality, mannerisms and aura could be exactly what Celtic need.
He is a brutal and aggressive man, someone who never settles for second best. Keane won promotion with Sunderland and has learned from one of the best in the business in Martin O’Neill – someone who brought so much success and joy to Celtic previously.
Like O’Neill, Keane is a born winner and that sort of attitude would be ideal. You only need to look at the positive energy Steven Gerrard has had on the blue side of Glasgow to understand what an infectious personality like that can do for a team.
As Petrov says, he could re-install the fire in this Celtic side that has been missing throughout the whole of 2020/21. We saw glimpses of it in the Scottish Cup final but it’s clear a great deal of passion has been lost.
Keane, however, is a fierce competitor.
Darren O’Dea, the manager of Celtic’s U18’s once summed up his character with the following:
“He was very good. He was pragmatic, it shouldn’t really surprise me, but it did. He knew the players he was working with, he knew the league he was working in. He was realistic in what he expected from his players. He had high standards, of course, but no more so than any other manager. He was good to work under.
“I think if Roy Keane was managing at Man United, he would demand more than he did at Ipswich. What he demanded as a manager, and I only read what he was like as a player as I didn’t play with him, although I did see him at Celtic for a little while, he demands the simple things to be done right. Whether that is living right, training right, preparing right.”
Evidently, preparing right and training right is missing at Parkhead right now.
Although Keane doesn’t have the most glistening of managerial CVs, his mentality would be more than ideal. He has the potential to turn Celtic’s fortunes around.