The performance in the Old Firm Derby yesterday was pretty abysmal, and the 2-0 defeat would have confirmed some of the fears Celtic fans have of appointing Neil Lennon on a permanent basis.
There are, of course, some mitigating circumstances. The title had been won, and with Rangers playing at home, their motivation was always likely to be greater than the Hoops’ players.
This is also still Brendan Rodgers’ squad rather than Lennon’s so it’s hard to judge exactly how the team will play next season if the Northern Irishman is allowed to bring in his own recruits.
Still, there are doubts over whether Lennon would be the right appointment so I’ve looked at three potential alternatives:
The former Everton and Manchester United manager has an excellent CV and has already expressed his interest in becoming Celtic’s next permanent manager.
Moyes did well in keeping West Ham in the EPL last season, but his style of play would be more similar to Lennon than Rodgers. Considering Lenny has won four league titles and two Scottish Cups, it would seem a bit foolhardy to replace him with someone who may not be an improvement.
A move for the current Kilmarnock boss would have more support among the Celtic fanbase, and he has certainly proven himself during his two-year stint at Rugby Park.
Clarke has steadily improved Killie, finishing fifth in his first season and is currently on for a third-place finish this campaign. Prior to him taking over, the club had finished in 8th.
Although he has managed in the Premier League with West Brom, his lack of managerial experience in European competitions could count against him, considering both Lennon and Moyes have managed in the Champions League.
A lot of supporters would like the current Newcastle manager to take over at Celtic Park, but his appointment is unlikely for a number of reasons.
While he is available in the summer when his contract expires at the Magpies, the ex-Liverpool boss would demand significant funds to do his job and wouldn’t accept any compromises in terms of his future plans.
The Celtic board run the club on tight purse strings, and they would have to loosen them significantly for a manager like Benitez to consider a move north of the border.
At the bookmakers, Lennon is currently 13/8 to get the job on a full-time basis with Sky Bet, while Moyes is 5/2, Benitez 7/1 and Clarke 10/1.