News of Ronny Deila’s imminent departure was still reverberating through the Celtic support when the first of the nutty stories about who might succeed him made its way into the press.
This is an early candidate for Do Not Even Think About It, one so off-the-wall and ridiculous it didn’t even make it into my “Men Who Shouldn’t Get The Celtic Job” article of earlier.
Frankly, this one is too mental to take even remotely seriously.
I’m writing about it now just in case this one is getting traction in the Celtic boardroom, even if it’s only being discussed as a crazy “what if?” scenario between Lawwell and the wee woman who makes the tea.
The name in question? Steve Evans.
When I posted on Facebook that we’d be better going for Lee Evans, a host of similar suggestions, from Chris Evans to former Eastenders character Barry Evans were put forward instead. That should give you some hint of how seriously this is considered.
Yet amidst all the humour, this isn’t actually a joke.
There are three problems here; first is that he’s mouthy.
That’s not a deal breaker. Any good manager should be.
But he’s so mouthy Massimo Cellini at Leeds won’t renew his contract this summer no matter what he achieves on the pitch.
“He talks too much, he has to learn to shut his mouth,” Cellini told an English paper earlier this month. “I’ve told him so many times to stop, you have no idea. But he doesn’t.”
Does he sound like he’ll bring harmony to Parkhead?
Probably not, and even though I’d welcome someone telling Lawwell to piss off and go back to doing the accounts, you don’t want someone who’ll argue just for the sake of it either.
Secondly, he’s not exactly got an inspiring CV.
A couple of minor successes in the lower leagues of England – back to back promotions nonetheless – is impressive as far as it goes, but it doesn’t actually go very far.
Third, and this is a big one and it needs to be put out there.
Steve Evans has a criminal conviction, and a suspended sentence.
You know what for?
You’ll like this one; I certainly did. It’s for tax fraud.
I trust I don’t have to tell you why appointing this guy would be an incalculably bad idea, right? It’s the kind of appointment our board would only make if they wanted to undercut the fans and the ethos of the club completely, by handing an atom bomb to our rivals, undoing everything we’ve been trying to achieve these last few years at a stroke. It’s the kind of thing they’d only do if the explicit intent was to get it right up us.
Here’s where I worry though.
His contract’s up, so he’s a cheap option.
He’s from Glasgow, which means he understands this place and the expectation level.
He’s also used to working with a small budget and getting players to over-perform.
In other words, he ticks a lot of the boxes for the people running our club.
The one sticking point is that he’s clearly not an “aye sir” type of guy … but for those other reasons I can see where there’d be a sort of attraction here.
Of course, the timing of this is very fortuitous.
This could be the media playing games, or equally it could be part of a softening up exercise; this guy would be so spectacularly unpalatable to the fans that the club might well calculate his name could be used to bouncing us into support for another low-impact appointment simply on the basis that it could have been worse.
So keep an eye on this one.
It’s not only unlikely but unthinkable, but this is the start of it, of the PR gamesmanship between Celtic, the press and the fans.
Strategic leaking, testing the water, softening up or promising jam … we’re going to get all of it and more.
Get ready for a rollercoaster ride.