With Celtic stuck in a rut, some big decisions are needed from the Hoops’ hierarchy.
Their woes were made worse on Saturday when they suffered a 2-1 defeat to St Mirren. It heaped further pressure on Neil Lennon, a manager who has engineered just nine wins from the club’s last 24 matches.
It has been a torrid time for Celtic, but despite protests at Parkhead, Lennon is refusing to budge.
Though, if the Bhoys are to have any chance of turning things around, they need a change in management. One player tipped with the hot seat has been Frank Lampard, a man sacked by Chelsea last week.
Pat Nevin is one pundit to have discussed the option of Lampard arriving in Glasgow, telling 67hailhail: “He’s [Lampard] not a bad fit.”
Nevin added: “He’s going to have to take a step away from the top level in England. I think Celtic’s a big ask at that point in time. It would be one hell of a chance to take.”
Considering what he did with a limited budget when Chelsea had a transfer ban, he’d certainly be a good appointment for the Hoops. He took them to Champions League football despite not making a single signing but it was the policy he developed that could be game-changing at Celtic.
He took it upon himself to take Chelsea in a completely new direction, forgetting about expensive recruits in his first season and promoting from within. Within a matter of months, Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Reece James and Fikayo Tomori had all become key to his plans.
It was out with the old and in with the new, a strategy that could hinder a number of Celtic favourites down the years. One man who could suffer the most if Lampard moved to Celtic and followed a similar strategy is Scott Brown.
The Scot has already started to be phased out by Lennon, who now prefers Ismaila Soro at the base of his midfield. To sum things up, since the New Year, Brown has only played 23 minutes of football. He is out of favour and his Celtic career is slowing falling away. Thus, the appointment of Lampard could only heap further misery on the 35-year-old.
At one point last season, the former England international fielded a starting XI with the average age of just 24.3. That happened to be the fourth most inexperienced side in the whole top-flight for 2019/20.
For more context, the 42-year-old coach had just four players over the age of 30 feature for him last term; Willian, Pedro, Olivier Giroud and Willy Caballero.
It was an incredibly young squad but one that Lampard was able to take to a new level. Willian and Pedro both left at the end of the season – moves that further emphasised the manager’s will to phase out older players.
Lampard has been described as “special” by Nevin for the connections he has within the game, but it could be what he does with players already at the club that has the biggest impact – rather than incomings.
Brown has hardly been a pillar of consistency this season so if you combine that with a manager who prefers to blood fresh talent, it doesn’t bode well.
It would be a major blow to the midfielder and his career if Lampard did arrive and chose a similar strategy in Glasgow. The skipper might be hoping that Dermot Desmond doesn’t have his eyes on the former England midfielder.