Celtic’s pursuit of Eddie Howe turned into something of a farce.
After the Bhoys initiated advanced talks with the Englishman, it was all on the backroom staff he wanted to bring with him to Parkhead.
However, with a deal looking so close to completion, it collapsed with Celtic forced to look elsewhere.
What’s the word?
Celtic have moved swiftly on an alternative with Australian coach Ange Postecoglou being targeted instead.
He’s reportedly in advanced negotiations with the Hoops but the board are still being urged to consider other options.
Speaking to Sportsound (via Glasgow Times), Pat Bonner declared that they should be aiming to hire someone with experience of the British game.
He said: “I’m looking down the list of people that are there. Maybe Michael O’Neill? I would take him.
“I would go for those guys that know the British game, know the Scottish game as well as the European game.
“He’s somebody that’s in Australia and in Japan. He is in a different environment, different place. Without being disrespectful, when you are in that environment you do not think about European football too much, unless dealing with agents.”
A good alternative
If you were to write down a list of managers then you’d be well placed to expect a fair few of them to have been linked with the Celtic job.
Their hunt for a new head coach has been going on for as long as three months now when Neil Lennon resigned back in February.
If the board did want to go for someone with experience of the British game there’d be few better choices than O’Neill for what the club needs.
Trevor Sinclair touted him for the Bhoys earlier this season, commenting: “I would look at Michael O’Neill. He’s done a fantastic job with the Northern Ireland national team, he’s done a superb job with Stoke City.”
The 51-year-old has done a very credible job with the Potters, taking them from near relegation in England’s second-tier to a spot just outside the play-offs.
When he first walked through the door, they were sat rock bottom of the Championship but he steered them to a 15th placed finish last term. Stoke then ended the current campaign in 14th; a slight improvement.
O’Neill was also excellent with Northern Ireland. He took them from a nation ranked as low as 129th in FIFA’s World Rankings to a team that made the last 16 of the last European Championships.
When your team is in a crisis, O’Neill seems well placed to be effective. Celtic aren’t quite battling relegation but after a trophyless campaign, they need someone who is able to come in and steady the ship.