Celtic could appoint Neil McGuinness as DoF

    The Celtic boardroom must be a hive of activity right now. The Bhoys hierarchy are searching for a new manager while they also require a director of football.

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    It has been all change in recent months for the Hoops with both Neil Lennon and Nick Hammond departing.

    Hammond’s exit has left the door open for Celtic to create a new position which has been much talked about.

    A director of football would completely revolutionise the scene at Paradise and should streamline their recruitment process.

    However, who could that honourable title go to? Manchester City’s Fergal Harkin appears to be the number one choice right now but if Eddie Howe becomes the new manager, it could be his companion from Bournemouth, Richard Hughes.

    That said, Celtic should forget about both and consider Neil McGuinness instead. According to The Daily Record, he is one of the names in the frame to be given the job and judging by his experience, he’d be a first-class successor to Hammond.

    Do you want McGuinness at Celtic?

    Of course

    Of course

    No chance

    No chance

    McGuinness started his career at Celtic so knows the surroundings well, having been a scout in the club’s recruitment team.

    He has since worked with Xavi at the Aspire Academy in Qatar and the 39-year-old is now the Director of Scouting at MLS side Columbus Crew.

    Since he moved to America, he has built a title-winning side with Columbus Crew, winning the Eastern Conference and then the MLS Cup in 2020.

    Speaking in December last year, he said: “I have been lucky enough to experience a lot of big days and nights in my career so far and been part of trophy-winning teams. You never get tired of wanting that feeling and the team winning the Eastern Conference was another experience I won’t forget quickly.”

    Although that might be one of the finest moments of his career, it was unearthing a certain Virgil van Dijk that McGuinness has become famous for.

    He was part of the scouting network that brought the Dutchman to Paradise and since then, he’s moved to England and become one of the best players in the world with Liverpool.

    With that in mind, bringing him back to Celtic as the head of an entire department could see similar levels of success achieved.

    Of course, Van Dijk is an anomaly; there are few better than him on the planet, but Celtic’s recruitment would surely improve significantly.

    After all, McGuinness is about as passionate as they come when it comes to data analysis and watching football.

    In an interview with the BBC, he explained: “I’d been doing freelance scouting since I was 13, 14; creating custom databases, watching a lot of football from all over the world.”

    Despite a huge preference put on data scouting in the modern game, McGuinness reckons there is no substitute for watching a player live and in the flesh.

    “Even before you watch a player you can look back on every game he’s played and use the video analysis software to make a custom video report. But there is still a huge need for watching the player live, having your own opinion and speaking to people within the game about him,” he commented.

    “There have been times when I’ve watched a player on video, spoken to the management staff, they’ve watched the video, everyone’s been happy, then seen him live and within five minutes know that he will never play for us,” McGuinness added.

    Crucially, however, the scout recognises that a manager always has to be in place before recruitment happens.

    Coincidentally, he spoke in the wake of Ronny Deila’s departure in 2016, saying: “The recent recruitment of guys like Carlton Cole, Nadir Ciftci, Colin Kazim-Richards – not including some of the loan players who have come to the club – have just not been good enough and the overall talent pool within the squad has dropped because of it.”

    McGuinness continued: “This in turn has made the supporters start to ask questions, so the pressure is on to make sure that the players being identified and monitored are of the level that Celtic should aspire to, in advance of the new manager being installed.”

    Celtic now find themselves in a similar boat with the additions of Vasilis Barkas, Albian Ajeti and co. worsening the talent pool available to them.

    The former Bhoys figure clearly knows what he’s talking about and would be a perfect addition at such a crucial moment in Celtic’s history.

    Dermot Desmond simply has to consider him.

    AND in other news, Worse than Kenny: Celtic star who made just 15 passes should be finished at Paradise…

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