Frank Lampard in contention after Chelsea sacking but Rafael Benitez is the bookies favourite January 25, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer

Frank Lampard has emerged as third favourite to be the next permanent Celtic manager just minutes after his sacking from Chelsea was confirmed.

The Blues legend was relieved of his duties on Monday following a bad run of results, however, he may not be out of work for long.

AFP

There could be a job opening for Lampard north of the border

Things aren’t going to plan for Chelsea this season but it’s been a disaster for Celtic as they set out to complete what would be an historic ten-in-a-row.

Things haven’t been going well on and off the pitch with manager Neil Lennon under plenty of pressure.

On the pitch, they’ve faltered in both the Champions League and Europa League and find their bid to win a tenth straight Scottish Premiership title in tatters as they’re trail fierce rivals Rangers by 23 points.

They can cut that down to 14 if they win their three games in hand but it still remains a tall order to overhaul the gap to Steven Gerrard’s side.

A lot is going wrong for Celtic this season on and off the pitch

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A lot is going wrong for Celtic this season on and off the pitch

And off it they’ve landed themselves in a war of words with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon after deciding to go on a warm weather training trip to Dubai as the UK begun the battle against the new coronavirus variant.

The trip ended up being a disaster as Christopher Jullien tested positive for COVID, causing a number of first-team players as well as manager Neil Lennon to miss their first two matches back in Scotland – both of which finished in draws.

Changes are needed at Parkhead with former Hoops striker John Hartson saying relieving former teammate Lennon of his duties would be the best course of action.

Hartson said: “I am a pundit but I care like the fans care, I am a Celtic supporter and ex-player and it is just very disappointing to see how this season has so fizzled out. I think a change is needed.

Lennon took charge of Celtic for the second time in February 2019

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Lennon took charge of Celtic for the second time in February 2019

“I send Neil best wishes and good luck when he needs it but to lose the league in such a big, big season in the way they have, has been so disappointing.

“Not just me, look at Chris Sutton, Stan Petrov, Alan Thompson and Henrik Larsson (former teammates), we all love Neil and want him to succeed and we were all delighted when he brought home the quadruple treble but I do genuinely think, with the situation in the league, a change is needed from the bottom to the top, I really do.

“The whole thing needs to be changed and it needs to happen pretty soon.

“Maybe the players need a different voice. Neil might want a new challenge, a fresh start. Sometimes it doesn’t work, Neil is intelligent enough, he has to see this.

Hartson insists he and other teammates appreciate what Lennon has done but believes it’s time for change

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Hartson insists he and other teammates appreciate what Lennon has done but believes it’s time for change

“It has taken me this long to say I would like to see a change, new staff, a freshness, something different. Neil has done amazing. His trophy haul has been fantastic both as a player and a manager.

“I just think the club need to say that they are going to change the manager, whether he goes at the end of the season or now, it is tough call for me to say it but I think it needs to be done. The time has come.”

A number of interesting names have been tipped for the Celtic job if Hartson’s wish is indeed granted, with Lampard the latest name to be linked.

Sky Bet reveals that he’s third favourite to be given the Parkhead post, with odds at 11/1.

Rafael Benitez is currently the favourite to become the next permanent Celtic manager

Getty Images – Getty

Rafael Benitez is currently the favourite to become the next permanent Celtic manager

Eddie Howe, who left Bournemouth by mutual consent at the end of last season, was favourite last week

Getty Images – Getty

Eddie Howe, who left Bournemouth by mutual consent at the end of last season, was favourite last week

Former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was the overwhelming favourite to be the next permanent Hoops boss last week.

However, Rafael Benitez is the most likely candidate – the ex-Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle boss 2/5 odds on.

Benitez is out of work having left Chinese club Dalian Professional. He’s been linked with a return to Newcastle but the bookies believe the Scottish champions are also keen on him.

Just behind Benitez, Howe and Lampard is John Kennedy (12/1), who is the current assistant at Celtic.

Roy Keane, who was at Celtic for six months as a player, has also been linked

Getty Images – Getty

Roy Keane, who was at Celtic for six months as a player, has also been linked

Jack Ross (16/1), the former Sunderland boss who is currently at Hibernian, is also said to be in the running, as is Mark Hughes at 16/1.

Manchester United legend and former Celtic player Roy Keane is also 16/1, while Dan Petrescu, Damien Duff, Gordon Strachan and even club legend Henrik Larsson are outsiders at 25/1. Below you can see Sky Bet’s odds on the next permanent Celtic manager.

Next permanent Celtic manager odds

*Odds according to Sky Bet

  • Rafael Benitez 2/5
  • Eddie Howe – 7/2
  • Frank Lampard – 11/1
  • John Kennedy – 12/1
  • Jack Ross – 16/1
  • Mark Hughes – 16/1
  • Roy Keane – 16/1
  • Roberto di Matteo – 20/1
  • Damien Duff – 25/1
  • Dan Petrescu – 25/1
  • Gordon Strachan – 25/1
  • Henrik Larsson – 25/1

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