Ex-midfielder Hartley says Celtic fans expect a 'marquee manager now'

Former midfielder Paul Hartley says Celtic fans expect a ‘marquee manager’ and believes appointment of Eddie Howe or Roy Keane can help restore faith in the board

  • Hartley says thee Celtic faithful expect a big name boss to replace Lennon 
  • Interim boss John Kennedy remains the favourite to take over at Parkhead 
  • But Howe and Keane have also been linked with the vacancy at Celtic 

Young yet hugely experienced. Demonstrably capable of building something lasting while playing a brand of aesthetically pleasing football. And free to talk whenever they chose.

Asked for the name which leaps off the page of would-be managerial candidates for the Celtic job, former Parkhead midfielder Paul Hartley has no doubts.

‘Eddie Howe’s the one that sticks out for me,’ he stated.

Former midfielder Paul Hartley says Celtic fans expect a ‘marquee manager now’

‘The way he set his team out at Bournemouth, the style of football which was along the same lines as Brendan Rodgers’ teams and he’s out of a job.

‘I think Celtic will go for someone out of a job, not someone who is in one.

‘I think Howe’s got that coolness about him, the respect of a lot of players and I thought he did a terrific job at Bournemouth.’

As the man who guided the Cherries from the lower echelons of English football to the Premier League, the 43-year-old would be viewed as something of a coup.

Former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe would be viewed as something of a coup for Celtic

Like Rodgers in 2016, Howe is on a sabbatical from the game. Hartley believes hiring him would reawaken the Celtic fans in the same way Rodgers’ arrival did five years ago.

‘I do think the Celtic fans expect a marquee manager now,’ he told the Celtic Huddle podcast.

‘To go and say to the Celtic fans ‘give us your season ticket money’ without them knowing who the manager’s going to be, it’s going to be very difficult.

‘I think they’ve maybe lost the trust in the board.

‘And I think to get them back onside I think Dermot Desmond will have to go and get a marquee manager in.’

With the club set to appoint a director of football to supplement Dominic McKay’s arrival as chief executive, though, Hartley feels there should be a certain order to proceedings.

‘I think the director of football or sporting director might come in first,’ he explained.

‘And then he’ll have that opportunity to bring his own man in.

Hartley suspects that Roy Keane’s famously bullish style could count against him

‘He then picks the manager and they both work closely. They have to have a close bond, especially with players coming in.’

Hartley doesn’t rule Roy Keane out of the running but suspects that the Cork man’s famously bullish style could count against him.

‘He’s very passionate and he doesn’t suffer any fools,’ he said.

‘I think football’s changed, in terms of managers being in players’ faces all the time.

‘It didn’t bother me when I played. But I think football’s changed, players have changed. I don’t think they like as much now.

‘Will Roy Keane be the next Celtic manager? Who knows, there’s a possibility. But players are different now.

‘If Roy Keane was offered it, though, I think he would take it.’

Hartley believes both the director of football and management jobs will come too soon for John Kennedy but feels the interim manager may yet stick around in some capacity.

‘John’s been there seven, eight years doing the coaching side of it,’ he said.

‘He’s worked under Ronny Deila, Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon, so for me he’s a steady pair of hands.

‘John knows the players and by all accounts he’s a very good coach.

‘I think there’s going to be a lot of changes at Celtic.

‘And I think John’s too young for director of football. Kendo likes being on the training pitch and if you take him away from that then I’m not sure that would suit him.

‘I think he’s definitely too young for that job.

‘Possibly he could stay with a new manager. He knows the club and has worked with the squad for a number of years.’

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