'Celtic is as big a football club as Liverpool' - Paul Lambert warns Parkhead candidate Brendan Rodgers about task ahead
Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is being strongly tipped to be named as the next Celtic manager, yet one of his chief rivals to land the post appears to have cast some doubts over his credentials to succeed at Parkhead.
Paul Lambert is a candidate to replace Ronny Deila at Celic and he has warned Rodgers that the challenge the Irishman would face if he made the move to Parkhead may be even more daunting than the task he ultimately failed to master at Liverpool.
Lambert, Roy Keane, Malky Mackay and David Moyes are among the high profile names being linked with the Celtic job vacancy, yet it is Rodgers who has emerged as the bookies favourite to take over.
“Could Brendan go in and do it,” questioned Lambert, in an interview with Sky Sports. “I think he could, but there will be a lot of hurdles he’ll need to get over to meet the demands of it. He knows the club. I think Celtic is still a massive club to take on.
“It will be totally different from Liverpool if Brendan got it. I don’t think, because Liverpool is a massive club, you can’t go to Celtic and think, well it’s an inferior club. It’s not.
“Celtic’s a huge football club. Even in my own time when Martin O’Neill came in, I said at the time we needed a manager like him because of the demands of the club.
“It needed a strong personality to take the job on, and Martin was absolutely fantastic to play under.
“I think if you asked any of us at that time, it was a fantastic five years under him, but we needed a manager to pull the club up. He handled the whole size of it, handled the fanbase, and got really good players in to help.”
The appointment of Rodgers would be something of a gamble for Celtic as he has no experience of Scottish football and would take on the job ahead of the return of Rangers to the Premiership for next season.
Former Villa manager Paul Lambert
“I think what he’ll need to do is grasp you are either first or last, there is no in-between, there is no second place, there’s no nothing, you have to win the title,“ continued Lambert.
“It doesn’t matter who comes, the supporters will still expect you to win because the weight of the jersey carries a lot for the players on it, and you have to get that in your head that you are going to have to win more games than not.”
Former Norwich, Aston Villa and Blackburn boss Lambert is still clearly keen to be handed the chance to take on the Celtic job, as he confirmed in these closing comments.
“First and foremost, you have got to be asked to go and do a job. Celtic, as I’ve said before is a brilliant club, a club really close to me. I had a great eight years there. It’s a really fantastic place,” he added.
“But you have to be asked. You’ve got to be good enough to go and do it and that will be Celtic’s prerogative to pick the right guy. Hopefully, whoever goes in there, gives the club success, because it’s a brilliant club.
“I’m unemployed at the minute, so I actually need to look for something. That’s probably my best answer.”