Hampden, history and taking a back seat…

On Saturday Celtic will face Hearts in the Scottish Cup Final. The club are on the cusp of historical greatness once again.

For some Celtic players, this could be their last ever outing in the Hoops should they be given a chance to do so. There are also some who have already made their final appearance for the club, but the majority of the team, regardless of their futures, are likely to be at Hampden for what could be a treble treble.

Hearts will of course be out to spoil such an occasion. The Edinburgh side will be competing in their first Scottish Cup Final since 2012.

They won that one in convincing fashion 5-1 against city rivals Hibernian. It was the club’s fourteenth Scottish Cup Final appearance and their eighth win.

Seven years on the task falls to a new team and manager. Craig Levein has never won a trophy as a player or a manager whilst his opposite number, Neil Lennon, has lifted thirteen as a player and seven as a manager.

So Levein is looking to lift his first piece of silverware in management and Lennon is aiming to lift his eighth. And of course, this would also be Celtic’s thirty-nineth Scottish Cup win if the result goes their way.

We’ll see two very different teams to the ones we saw last week at Celtic Park. That game was played out in a very open manner, knowing that nothing was really at stake.

Celtic used a glut of youngsters who by and large put in a good shift. Mikey Johnston was the star of the show with two stunning goals, but came close to being outshone by an even younger Karamoke Dembele who made his first team debut.

You would fancy at least one or at both players to make an appearance on Saturday. However, as I said earlier this will be good bye for some Celtic players.

Cristian Gamboa, Emilio Izaguirre, Dorus de Vries, Scott Allan, Dedryck Boyata, Jeremy Toljan and Oliver Burke will move on or return to their parent clubs. They could be followed by Filip Benkovic unless Celtic seek an extension to what has been a very successful loan spell from Leicester City.

Mikael Lustig has not declared his position as yet and it is 50/50 whether he stays or goes. Celtic may also try to offload a couple more who have failed to make a breakthrough such as Eboue Kouassi, Marvin Compper, Jack Hendry, Kundai Benyu and Youssouf Mulumbu.

And in terms of raking in some cash, there are players that have some value and will be on the radar of other clubs. The latter is of course specualtion though and will undoubtedly come down to the next manager.

Talking of which, we will find out after this cup final who is to take the permanent role. There has been no end to speculation about the next appointment.

In recent days it has gone from one favourite to the next. Many believe it is already going to be Neil Lennon, which for a large amount of the fan base is not the way forward.

Neil has been actively looking at players to bring in for the future fueling the rumour that he will be here next season. What if that wasn’t as the head coach though?

I put it to a few people yesterday about the likelihood of Neil Lennon as a Director of Football. It is clear the club value Neil’s opinion, but they must also know that in order to evolve on the park and in training that we need fresh ideas to continue the change that began under Ronny Deila.

Neil is of course Celtic through and through and has a huge interest in the club. Whether this is a role he feels he could settle in is another question.

Effectively he would be taking a back seat from the guy doing the training, picking the team and arranging the tactics. The tasks involved in a Director of Football role can vary and is much more common overseas than in the UK, but it is possible that Lennon has already been doing part of that role since he came in.

Which is why it is more likely that someone well versed in our club’s affairs, working with a continental manager could be a goer. If that is what Celtic want, to have a go-between like Lennon working with a guy such as, I dunno say Andre Villas-Boas, then I would be happy with that.

Right now though, we don’t know what the board’s thinking is. I’m just throwing it out there.

We won’t know anything until after Saturday. So let’s make some more history first and hopefully continue to make more with a solid plan for the future.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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One thought on “Hampden, history and taking a back seat…

  1. Pingback: Hampden, history and taking a back seat… | CELTS FROM THE SOUTH | The Celtic Footsoldiers 8 In a Row ..

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