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Is The Celtic Job Not What it Was?

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 24:  Celtic manager Gordon Strachan looks on dejected during the Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Hearts at Parkhead on May 24, 2009 in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)
Andy MuirheadCorrespondent IJune 5, 2009

I must admit the trio of managerial departures in the SPL has produced enough rumours and back page headlines to keep us interested in what is usually the quietest time in the football calendar.

The departure of Gordon Strachan, just a day after missing out on the SPL title did not seem to disappoint most Celtic fans, who had become tired of Strachan’s style of play.

But what that means now is the fans are desperate to get a manager in with a reputation of playing good football—something that appears easier said than done. There also appears to be a desire for the boss to have some sort of Celtic connection—which further narrows the scope.

But instead of the expected clamour for the role there has been a succession of names ruling themselves out. David Moyes, Owen Coyle and Roberto Martinez have all distanced themselves from the job. With Swansea manager Martinez now set to move to Wigan Athletic what does it say about Celtic and the SPL in general when the bright lights of Burnley and Wigan now carry more weight than the top job and Parkhead?

Tony Mowbray appears to be favourite and a popular choice with the fans. A former player he also has SPL managerial experience and likes to play good football—all ticks in the right boxes as far as Celtic fans are concerned. But again his achievements in England are limited to one promotion, one relegation and a reputation for doggedly sticking to his footballing philosophy regardless of results.

Is that the world-class manager Celtic are looking for?

The Celtic board and their fans may now have to lower their expectations, especially if they insist on such a strict set of criteria. We have to accept now that the cash rich Premier League will hoover up and retain the best managerial talent regardless of their Celtic or SPL connections. They simply do not have the pull they once had.

A young up and coming manager like Mowbray looks like the best they can hope for—but then again how about a "dream team" of Tony Adams and Paolo Di Canio??

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