The odds are that the Celtic manager’s job will change hands during the close season and one thinks that there is a value bet away from the favourites in most of the betting lists.
Celtic surprised the football world two years ago when it recruited Ronny Deila, whose previous role had been as the boss of Norwegian Tippeligaen side Stromsgodset. Deila led Celtic to Scottish Premiership and Scottish League Cup glory in his first Bhoys campaign but he failed on the European stage. Celtic performed poorly in both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League this term and Aberdeen is applying pressure to the Bhoys in the Scottish Premiership – winning domestic titles was supposed to be easy due to the banishment of Rangers to Scotland’s lower divisions.
Deila has a one-year rolling contract with Celtic and one expects that Bhoys will decide not to renew it in a few months from now. Celtic has gone backwards under Deila.
Northern Ireland coach Michael O’Neill is the unanimous market leader to be the next permanent Celtic manager and he does boast strong credentials. After all, O’Neill has been successful in each of his three jobs – Brechin, Shamrock Rovers and Northern Ireland – and he has been linked with Celtic on a number of occasions. The biggest knocks on O’Neill are that he does not have an obvious link to Celtic – he played for, among others, Dundee United, Hibernian and St Johnstone – and he is fully committed to Northern Ireland for its UEFA European Championship campaign. If Celtic replaces Deila then it could do with a boss with no summer commitments.
David Moyes is the general second favourite to be Celtic’s next permanent coach but, while he has Bhoys blood running through his veins, he has made it clear that he sees himself operating in one of the world’s top leagues when he rejoins the workforce. One thinks that ex-Everton, Manchester United and Sociedad manager Moyes is more likely to end up back in the English Premier League than the Scottish Premiership.
Hibernian boss Alan Stubbs will have his supporters but it is another Celtic alumnus whom one thinks represents the value option at odds of +1400 with BetVictor to succeed Deila when the time comes. His name is Henrik Larsson; a man that averaged not far shy of a goal per game in his seven years as a Celtic player, during which time he won eight major domestic honours.
Larsson is a man who has fostered strong personal ties with several clubs during his career and, therefore, it would not shock one in the least if he coached Celtic in the near future. Larsson is one of the most popular players in Celtic’s recent times and the Bhoys board would not cop any criticism if it appointed the greatest foreign import in its history to succeed Deila.
Since late 2009 Larsson has been serving his managerial apprenticeship in his native Sweden, fulfilling various roles with Landskrona, Hogaborgs, Falkenbergs and, most recently, Helsingborgs. The Scottish Premiership would represent a step up for Larsson from the Allsvenskan in Sweden and, therefore, he is one of the highly touted candidates for whom moving to Scotland would be a career positive. And, with Rangers set to rejoin Celtic at the top table of Scottish soccer, it would not hurt for the Bhoys to have one of their favourite sons calling the shots instead of a Norwegian boss who appears to have run his race.
PaddyPower is, arguably, the bookmaker with the best feel for the next permanent Celtic coach market because of its primary audience and one thinks that it is significant that the controversial firm is offering the lowest Larsson odds.
Henrik Larsson next Celtic Manager
Once or twice per month we will provide you with the latest sports tips and keep you updated about the biggest events.