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Celts in management

Could Martin O'Neill and Kenny Dalglish work for Liverpool?

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Ten years after passing each other in the corridors of Celtic Park it seems very unlikely that Kenny Dalglish and Martin O’Neill could form a working relationship at Liverpool.

Dalglish is the early favourite to replace Rafael Benitez although he hasn’t managed for ten years.

After managing Liverpool, Blackburn and Newcastle United Dalglish took temporary charge of Celtic following John Barnes sacking with his own departure inevitable following the death of the ‘dream-ticket’.

Dalglish’s spell as Celtic caretaker ended with a 2-0 win over Dundee United on 21 May 2000 with O’Neill’s  revolution kicking off three months later with a 2-1 win over the same opponents at Tannadice.

O’Neill has quickly been linked with the Anfield vacancy but it’s impossible to see O’Neill and Dalglish, or any Director of Football type relationship working.

When O’Neill gets involved it’s all or nothing, it’s Martin’s way or no way. The former Celtic boss once remarked that he’d rather be dead than work with a Director of Football!

Earlier today Liverpool announced: “The Board has now asked Managing Director Christian Purslow, with the assistance of Club Ambassador Kenny Dalglish, to begin a formal search to identify and assess potential candidates for the managerial position.

“No timescale has been placed on the process and Liverpool FC will make no further statement until a new manager is appointed.”

Dalglish will take temporary charge of playing matters as well as being involved in the search for Benitez’s replacement.

Former players Ian Rush and Steve Nicol have been linked with a move to join Dalglish in the dug-out with the start of the competitive season two months away.

The sale of Liverpool has been on-going for over a year with the club’s ownership and debt issues likely to put off the sort of managerial names that Liverpool would normally be linked with.

The appointment of O’Neill would be a bold move but it’s hard to see the Aston Villa boss taking over a largely foreign playing staff without being given the sort of funds needed to transform the playing staff.

Liverpool’s financial position suggests that without a change of ownership the club won’t be competing at the serious end of the transfer market.

It’s never been documented if O’Neill and Dalglish ever spoke while briefly employed by Celtic but there was never any prospect of anyone other than O’Neill having an influence on footballing matters.

Chief Executive Allan MacDonald followed Dalglish out the door with Ian McLeod taking over before the job was re designated upon Peter Lawwell’s appointment.

On the park O’Neill was initially assisted by Tommy Burns and Marc Rieper before being re-united with John Robertson and Steve Walford once they had negotiated their way out of Leicester.

O’Neill’s relationship at Aston Villa seems strained with a glass ceiling hit after four seasons with Champions League qualification no closer. As Liverpool step into the spotlight over the coming weeks it’ll be fascinating to see the role played by two of the biggest figures in Celtic’s recent history.

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9 comments
  • WestDerbyRed says:

    O’Neil, HELL NO!

  • Ayman says:

    Having got rid of one barking mad manager I can’t believe we’re getting linked with another!! At least under Benitez Liverpool did play some bloody good football (thinking of season before last) which is a hell of lot better than O’Neil’s long ball style of play. I don’t think it’s possible but I would love to see Guus Hiddink manage Liverpool or Dalgish/ Lee combination or Roy Hodgson.

  • Joe McHugh says:

    Liverpool fans may be in for a reality check.

    The ownership issue and the club debt will scare off the type of manager that they would like.

    Until that is resolved the club looks in limbo.

    A poll amongst Celtic fans between Dalglish and O’Neill would be very one sided in O’Neill’s favour.

    In many circumstances O’Neill would be the ideal man to revitalise Liverpool, with Dalglish at the club that looks very unlikely.

    Dalglish could be a reluctant manager for a while to come, he’s had his fill of the front line, but circumstances suggest that with no other realistic candidates he could be ‘caretaker’ for some time to come.

    I suspect that John Barnes may be behind Lord Lucan and Sir Alex Ferguson in the betting.

  • Mike Bhoyle says:

    Don’t normally comment on other club’s situations….but….
    Dalglish will never manage again….MON will not be going to Liverpool either…
    you heard it here first.

  • denny says:

    Please, please, please NOT Martin O’neill

  • Eddie Murray says:

    Have to disagree with ya Ayman-O’Neill was accused of being a long ball merchant at Celtic but this is a myth. Checkout youtube and savour some of the scintillating football played by a side that included Petrov, Lambert, LARSSON, Sutton and Hartson. Because we had a couple of big front men, everyone assumed that we just pumped the bladder up to them but we played some great team football to get there in the 1st place. Agathe had pace to burn and ripped down the wing to play the big guys in. Sean Maloney was deployed wide to do similar. How many goals did Jackie McNamara score for us and he was the full back! No mate, O’Neill has his critics but facts are facts-you play to your strengths and Liverpool could do a lot worse than engage his services. Hail Hail.

  • DAVE says:

    I agree with Denny? please,please,please NOT Martin O’neill -you must be joking!he would’n’t get away with what he did at Celtic,it’s a different kettle of fish in the English Premiership.It may not sound very nice but we are talking about the English premier league!Not the Scottish league! O’Neill/Celtic could’n’t fail,as is usual in the Scottish league !!! He has done nothing in England !!!
    WE DO NOT WANT ‘HIM’ AT ‘ANFIELD’

  • Joe McHugh says:

    Be careful Dave.

    O’Neill would be a far better manager to go into the new season with than Dalglish, leave Kenny on the sidelines as a legend/hero/icon.

    When the gap between the SPL was closer Celtic turned over Blackburn and Liverpool to reach the UEFA Cup Final as well as Spanish and German opponents.

    Although he is direct O’Neill is more tuned into the Premiership ways than Benritez.

    The Liverpool job isn’t going to attract the top drawer manager you wish for.

    O’Neill joined Villa with Doug Ellis as chairman in the knowledge that a takeover was well under way, given similar circumstances you might see him soon at Anfield.

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