Tuesday 28 January 2020

Moyes Bhoys as Deila exits

Former United boss favourite to take Celtic reins at end of season

David Moyes is the early favourite to replace Ronny Deila as Celtic manager. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.
David Moyes is the early favourite to replace Ronny Deila as Celtic manager. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

Roddy Forsyth

David Moyes has been installed as early favourite to replace Ronny Deila as Celtic manager after it was announced the Norwegian will depart at the end of the season.

Former Everton and Manchester United boss Moyes leads a field that includes Neil Lennon - who said he "would definitely be interested" in returning to the club - Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill and Ireland assistant boss Roy Keane.

Celtic's Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Rangers on Sunday was the final straw for Deila. However, he has brought the team to the verge of a second successive Scottish title, and the Parkhead directors have done him the courtesy of allowing him to finish the job.

Lennon was quick to express an interest in a return to Parkhead, which he quit in 2014, saying: "I had 18 months at Bolton, which has given me a completely different spectrum to the game, so I think I am better off for the experience. I've a great affinity with Celtic. I would know what I'm walking into."

Keane's role is as Ireland assistant manager is likely to block any chance of the former Ipswich boss returning to a managerial position.

Some, including Rangers' Mark Warburton, have expressed surprise that a manager could win the championship and be sacked. But a groundswell of unhappiness has been evident for some time.

For the first few months after he succeeded Lennon, Deila spoke about his desire to effect a clean sweep of the Scottish honours - a task certainly made easier by the absence of Rangers from the top flight.

Deila, though, achieved only one success in four attempts to win the knockout tournaments, when Celtic won the 2015 Scottish League Cup.

The Scottish Cup eluded Deila as a consequence of losing semi-finals to Inverness last year and to Rangers at the weekend.

There were also issues over a conservative style.

Particularly damaging was their failure to qualify for the Champions League group stages and their dismal showings in the Europa League. That, more than Sunday's defeat by Rangers, was his undoing. (© Daily Telegraph, London)


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