Need for an innovative assistant


One of the details pertinent to the formal appointment of Neil Lennon as manager will be the appointment of his assistant and other coaches.  John Kennedy is certain to remain part of the staff, it remains to be seen if Neil’s former assistant at Celtic and Hibs, Garry Parker, will join him again.  Damien Duff will also be waiting on a steer on where his future lies.

A more innovative appointment may be called for this time.  Five years ago, the initial plan was to appoint Ronny Deila as assistant.  I would like to see Celtic come up with an innovative appointment this time.

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  1. Belter over on The Celtic Star.



    Apparently this is on the rounds over at Academically Challenged FC.



    “If 25000 #rangersfamily put £10 a month to a #RangersFC fund it would raise £13m for season 2020/21 any thoughts ?”



    My thoughts, mate, are that you should have gone to a different school!

  2. traditionalist88 on




    Still, enough for a face painter for the season, and maybe a couple more clowns.







    He must have gone to the David Murray school of finance and counting.

  4. The Battered Bunnet on

    An innovative Assistant, you say?



    Anyone remember when Southampton appointed former England rugby coach Clive Woodward as Performance Director?



    It wasn’t a memorable experience for anyone.

  5. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    I would love to see Chris Sutton as part of Neils backroom team, not much chance but he gets Celtic.

  6. gene



    Not as a separate subject gene. Used to be a useful qualification on its’ own, up to ordinary level. Should be re-introduced ASAP but as EmeraldBee has just illustrated, it’s too late for some!

  7. The Battered Bunnet on

    ‘O’ Levels were an English exam. In Scotland we had Ordinary and Higher Grades – ‘O’ Grades in this context, of which Arithmetic was one of two compulsory subjects along with English.



    Arithmetic was subsequently removed from the curriculum altogether, while O Grades were replaced with Standard Grades. Standard Grades were then replaced with National 4 and 5 qualifications.



    My sense is the author of the post in question went to school after Arithmetic was removed from the curriculum.




  8. prestonpans bhoys on

    Good old O grades, I managed to get a A for Maths and a C for Arithmetic




  9. `My sense is the author of the post in question went to school after Arithmetic was removed from the curriculum.`



    I do like a gentle rib :-)




  10. Paul67



    I like many have reservations about Lenny’s appointment on a permanent basis .



    Not knowing who the other serious candidates were or indeed if there were any .


    I can’t say if he is the right appointment.



    But I do think that his appointment makes sense on many levels .



    I also love the man in a man love kind of way.



    There’s always a but .



    He has to work in unison with PL and the board, but they must allow him to do it his own way .



    If he is incapable of bringing in modern ideas as the manager.



    If he is not allowed or induced into recruiting an assistant that he himself may not have chosen.



    Then he isn’t the man for the job .



    There is no way Stein , Ferguson , Shankly ,O’Neill, Clough , Rodgers, Mourinho, Guardiola etc,etc, would not be bringing in their own man .


    The very suggestion of it , from someone so close to PL gives me cause for concern.




  11. Paul67 et al



    Speaking of old school subjects, back in the day my old Science teacher, well one of them anyway, Mr. Morrell I think, used to always kid me on that although Celtic had great players, there was one they did not have, and that was Harry Hood of Clyde. He was a Glasgow man, claimed to be a Clyde fan, but somehow always managed to have watched the big Celtic European games. Now in those days, as many on here know, there was very little football on TV, coverage in Scotland was abysmal despite the sterling efforts of big Arthur and er Whooosh. No domestic cup finals live then, so the only way you could see players was by going to the game, which was then was affordable, you could always get in to most matches. You might see opposition players once or twice a season. Thing is Scotland was full of good footballers, Joe McBride, Willie Wallace, Tommy Callaghan et al. And so it came to pass, the footballing Prince that was Harry Hood finally donned the hoops, my education was complete. It wasn’t often you heard singing in the Science class back then…..



    “Oh Harry Harry, Harry Harry, Harry Hood





    Paul obviously knows who the assistant is going to be. As he told us last week Neil Lennon was getting managers job

  13. The ghost of 2014 hangs over both parties and means the whole enterprise is built on sand.



    NL was not happy that season regarding the support he was getting from the club.


    There was an extended campaign to get rid of his coaching team.


    Consequently we were not firing on all cylinders.



    DD had lost faith in NL regarding his desire for more support.


    Cards were marked and at the first opportunity NL was walked out the door.


    Not sure what would have happened if we had went ahead with the NL / RD combo.



    However the main thing is that it would have been a match made in heaven.



    5 years later — cannot believe we are back with this failed set up.


    In fact it is even more unstable given we have a thin coaching staff and need new blood.



    Then add in a captain who has had a good innings but is on the slide and a squad with huge holes in it and we have a situation that will take some sorting.

  14. I must be a hun then – if only I can remember the add ons :(



    When I moved to Engerland in 1970 they were surprised I had an O grade in Arithmetic as well as mathematics.


    As I said they all count :)

  15. With Boyata away, a replacement CB is our top priority, alongside a RB. Thought that Fikayo Tomori was a standout at the back for Derby County, not just yesterday but for much of the season. Worth asking Chelsea if they feel he might progress on loan with us in Europe, rather than another season in the Championship…



    Would slot in well alongside Ajer & Simunovic, rotating any two from those three throughout the season.



    I’m not often right, but I did suggest both Jarosik & Ledley well in advance of either of them being touted, so you never know….

  16. The Battered Bunnet on 28th May 2019 1:15 pm




    ‘Arithmetic was subsequently removed from the curriculum altogether’







    Well if you’re going to be pedantic about it, arithmetic is still taught, and examined, as part of the mathematics curriculum and exams.

  17. Harry Hood – -loved the guy and lucky enough to meet him after football.


    My abiding memory of him was one of the best goals I have ever seen at Parkhead. Can’t remember who we were playing but Jinky crossed a ball from the right, about 3 feet off the ground. Our Harry leapt , trapped the ball with his left foot and hammered in the net with his right, what a goal, and all this in mid air.



    Will be very sadly missed.





  18. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on 28th May 2019 2:47 pm




    Pretty sure the guy’s name is Arnold.



    Though Albert does sound stauncher.

  19. Agree with the sentiment – having an innovative addition to the coaching staff – but think that would be a sticking plaster. What we really need is a Director of Football who takes overall responsibility for:



    Medical Department;


    Fitness and Conditioning Department (including the performance department);


    Recruitment and Scouting Department; and


    Future management/coaching team recruitment.



    What we have seen recently is the departure of a great coach (for all his sins) who also decimated our infrastructure. While one of Lenny’s selling points is he won’t walk out on us at the drop of a hat, we need to have the backroom in a place where the departure of one individual isn’t going to mean we need to build a whole structure and support network again. So a DoF who will put all those things in place and ensure they are in place for the long haul and that the management/coaching team “buy into” that is vital.



    Equally, it’s vital going forward that the DoF puts in place a vision or strategy for the club – part of that is already set in that we recruit projects to sell on, and that part of the business model should remain, albeit complemented by a stronger, more experienced “core” of first teamers to support the projects in their development. Another part of it is around our playing ethos or what is referred to as “the Celtic way”. It ought to be apparent next season that we’ve moved from BR’s expansive, possession-based approach to a more direct approach under Lennon. That’s not neccesarily a bad thing, but as with the backroom team, we can’t constantly flip from one style to another at the whim of whoever is in the manager/head coach’s seat. If Lenny’s style is to be out style, we need to be thinking about the next manager as someone who will continue that – otherwise we end up going from tiki-taka to route 1 to tiki-taka, etc…



    So a DoF to provide stability, a head coach who is supported by their own assistant and first team coach but also by the very best fitness, medical, performance analysis, youth development and scouting staff the club can recruit (and who will be there for the long term).



    With that in place, I’m relaxed about Lennon being manager – he knows how to deliver for the first team but we need a DoF to ensure all the other things are taken into account.



    In terms of playing staff, we could do with a cull. Out of contract players – De Vries, Boyata, Allan, Lustig, Gamboa, Izzy; loanee departures – Burke, Benkovic, and Tolijan (we could also let Arzani return to Man City), will see us trim the squad almost by default. A few others could go with minimal impact on the team – Comperr, Hendry, Mulumbu – while others I think have peaked or need to be moved on for everyone’s benefit – Rogic, Ntcham, Sinclair, Bitton, Gordon, Hayes – And a few out on loan – Henderson, the two Americans again, Morgan, Oko-Flex.



    A few purchases from the SPFL and a couple of “big” signings would put us in a better place, which would leave us with the following as a squad:



    GK – Bain, and have Doohan for the first half of the campaign (playing League cup matches) and Hazard for the second half (playing Scottish Cup matches) to see which (if either) of them are best placed to remain in the squad (loan them out alternately);



    RB: Ralston (to see if he has what it takes); and O’Donnell from Kilmarnock (c£1m) as back-up while we see if either of the RBs have it;


    LB: Tierney and Taylor from Kilmarnock (c£1m);


    CB: Jozo and Ajer. Soutter (£1.5M) and McKenna (£5M) as back-ups. McKenna would be a bit steep at this price, but I think we would eventually sell for a profit. The two Scots would be good enough for most SPFL games and with Lenny in charge their lack of passing ability wouldn’t be such an issue.



    CM: MacGregor and Christie as first choices. Brown to stay but being phased out over the season. I think Eboue deserves a bit of a run (and might suit Lenny’s system). I’d also go for Turnbull from Motherwell (£2m). And a “big signing” here – a proper playmaker.



    Wings: Forrest, Shved, Johnstone; Arzani (if we don’t send him back) and I’d like to see Eddy playing off the left at times. Dembele to be drip-fed in – he’s only 16 after all.



    Forwards: Griffiths (if he’s fit to come back); Eddy; Bayo (who needs a shot at some point); and a “big signing” here (in the Dembele mould of play).



    £10.5 million spent on the Scots/squad and money left from the Dembele fee to cover a couple of “big” signings – a playmaker and a striker. This may also be recouped by sales (Rogic, Ntcham, Sinclair ought to make us around £10m between them) I’d drop McKenna if we could get a better CH for that money (or if we could get Benkovic back on loan).



    A pretty decent squad of 25 players. Next summer, we’d potentially be looking at needing a Goalkeeper if Doohan or Hazard hadn’t stepped up to the mark; a Right back if Ralston or O’Donnell aren’t doing it; and a CB if we go with Benkovic and need to replace him.

  20. !!Bada Bing!! on

    CHARLIE72 on28TH MAY 2019 12:16 PM



    We don’t need Patrick Roberts. We have James Forrest, Shved, Sinclair, Morgan, Arzani, Hayes and young Dembele who are all wide players.



    Apart from Forrest and Sinclair, Roberts has proved himself in a Celtic jersey.Turnbull been getting rave rewiews all season, could be worth a punt.McKenna is a donkey,if he’s rated at £10 million, howmuch is Ajer worth? HH

  21. Paul67 et al



    Always had a lot of sympathy for steers.


    Sympathy, not empathy.




  22. Fool Time Whistle on

    Good Morning all



    A beautiful Tuesday morning in North Carolina – at least until 10.00am when the temp & humidity really kicks in. Currently, at 8.12am it is 75 degrees and will top out at aroud 97 in the afternoon.



    With May 25 being such an iconic day for all Celtic fans & for this fan in particular (Barcamole & family connection) it seemed fitting that here this weekend is called Memorial Holiday weekend.





    The appointment of the manager & soon enough his assistant(s) will play out in the months ahead. From my cheap seat on the sidelines, I was conflicted about what to expect and about what I preferred, but I fully suppport Neil’s appointment now & hope that he gets the FULL support of all the key people at the club.



    My confusion was based on mixed messages from the club & the man himself.


    NFL was off on scouting/assessment trips to Paris one minute, then he was poker faced when asked about his chances of being permanent manager.


    He would state that winning the last two trophies would have no bearing on him getting the job, but then he rolled up to the William Hill pre final media session looking jittery & as if he’d been up all night. I feared the worst for him at that point.


    Household names were bandied about as likely managers & then it seemed that some random names out of the phone book were thrown in for a laugh. (Remember phone books!) NFL was universally dismissed as a contender it seemed.


    On blogs & in other media, bookies odds were breathlessly quoted as serious indicators of who was more or less likely to get the job. For non betting folk like me it seemed like we’d entered the Twilight Zone.


    The board & the CEO were unseen & unheard. Were they in a conclave with an attached chimney for showing some white smoke? Or were they working on a PR masterstroke to reveal to us after the game?


    At Fool Time at Hampden the tv cameras showed Lawwell, Desmond, Bankier and the rest of the board standing in a group looking down at the onpitch activities. There were no smiles, waves or animation. They all looked straight faced & solemn like those faces on the cover of The Band’s brown album. Looked more like bad news for NFL than good.



    In the chaos after the victory I first read of the identity of the new manager on here – like others I was still trying to absorb the implications of the previous 90 minutes.



    Then I found a tweet from the club which was worded oddly. NFL had been “offered the job” but the rest was left dangling tantalisingly.


    At this point I started to scratch my head.


    I knew that post victory questions to players on field were all about NFL’s position & that the club had to decide who they wanted/didn’t want but also WHEN & HOW to announce it.



    Then it became clearer. Gerry McCullough interviewed NFL on the field & concluded the interview by congratulating Neil on being the new permanent manager. There was no mention of the “offer” of the job or even of his “acceptance” of it. We had to infer from Neil’s responses that he had accepted.



    As a PR exercise it was hardly Madison Avenue.



    I found out later that PL was interviewed on camera & revealed more details, but that interview was not shown on Celtic TV & bizarrely for Celtic fans & Celtic TV subscribers – the CEO never appeared on screen to tell his own paying customers what was happenning.



    The PR was now more Drakemire Avenue than Madison Avenue…



    Then the wave of outrage took over.


    It seemed the timing of the non “announcement” that the current interim incumbent had been offered – but not yet accepted the role on a permanent basis, was merely a cunning plan to rob the fans of the joy of a treble treble. That was actually part of some posters sentiments – no, it really was off the wall time then.



    The club’s officials had gone to ground though & the vacuum they left was filled by angry outbursts on social media, including this place.


    Board haters were rampant while board apologists were perplexed.


    Opponents of NFL being appointed were close to apoplexy while his defenders..eh..defended his appointment. But that meant they were also accused of being board apologists, and so it went on…



    All of this mess became subsumed into a bigger ball of conflict, anger, frustration, venting, disunity & disharmony.


    Quite how the Celtic FC board had managed to snatch dissension & division from the joys of victory and the never to be repeated “treble treble” is still something I’m trying to get my head round.



    I accept that they had to make an announcement as soon as possible after the cup win.


    I accept that their choice of manager is about as good as we could expect at this time (I know that will enrage some).


    I accept that Neil Lennon deserves the chance and that relatively speaking, he is a safe pair of hands.


    I also accept that he is very likely a cheaper option than some of the fabled names being bandied about – whether they were ever serious comtenders or not.


    Why should the board go for the expensive option merely because it will be seen by some fans as a sign that they have thrown away the biscuit tin? Just like expensive players, managers who cost a fortune cannot guarantee success. The template for those who spend their time on the European management merry-go-round involves stepping off only for clubs with oil or gangster money to fund their profligacy.


    Celtic cannot attract serious contenders from that group – no matter what fantasies are peddled by agents, bookies & dreamers.


    Ex players, out of work managers looking for what they think is a time filling but easy job, younger managers/coaches hoping to raise their profile with Celtic in Europe and those who have some affection for the club make up the numbers of those from whom we get to select a manager.


    They are all a cheaper option than any in the top teir, because the market determines that.


    I hope Neil Lennon gets the best rate possible & the club don’t try to short change him because he really wants to be here.



    The stushie has settled down a little and we realize that the club appears to have decided fairly early on that NFL was their man. He is more mature, more experienced & less combative than he was when he left in 2014. He did well at Hibs & even did a decent job at the trainwreck that is Bolton. Have Bolton modeled themselves on Oldco?



    I have no issues with NFL as manager provided he gets resources & support to fulfil his mission.



    But how & why in the name of heaven did the club contrive to mangle the announcement of something that was expected, planned & needed to head of the frenzy of speculation?



    Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory – not quite – but for a few hours it seemed like it was touch and go.



    Messrs Lawwell, Desmond, Bankier, Nicholson et al., get your act together & realize you have responsibilities & a professional duty to act in the best interest of Celtic. You need to seriously assess why your management of some events is so wretched that you become a case history on how NOT to do things.



    All you had to do was to arrange a short joint media session with PL & NFL soon after the game finished to announce the appointment, followed by a commitment to provide Neil with resources & support.



    Celtic fans deserved this at least – so did Neil Lennon.



    Buck up your ideas & remember your responsibility to the fans.




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