Date: 26th May 2009 at 10:08am
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Assuming the next Celtic manager gets a proper say in dealings on the transfer market, he will have to shift a lot of deadwood accumulated from Gordon Strachan’s reign.

In fact, the downsizing of Celtic may now be at such an advanced stage that the task improves nearly impossible. Take the three strikers: Scott McDonald, Georgios Samaras and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink. Would any of them even made the Celtic bench in the pre-Strachan era?

How about Paul Hartley? Or Stephen McManus? Lee Naylor? Is the injury-prone Shaun Maloney ever going to return to the heights he once reached before his move to Aston Villa? Plenty of questions remain unanswered about the squad, but the picture certainly doesn’t look bright.

There is a chance Aiden McGeady’s form may improve under a new manager, though. Since he and Strachan fell out, McGeady’s form has dipped and it looked possible the Ireland international may have quit in the summer if Aberdeen legend Strachan remained at Parkhead.

McGeady may, however, still decide to leave. Given he has talent, something many of the SPL dumplings he has to line up with lack, perhaps he might chance his foot elsewhere. McGeady may be an infuriating player, but he’s too good to be lining-up alongside SPL also-rans and managed by a former Motherwell boss.

Unfortunately, it seems more likely the new boss will have to make do with what he already has. So part of the job qualifications needed should be “turning Willo Flood into a Celtic player” – not the easiest of tasks in the world, even if he has had little chance to impress since his bag-of-peanuts move to Parkhead from Dundee United.

The phrase “out of the frying pan, into the fire” has been used a lot on forums regarding the possible appointment of Mark McGhee and not without reason. Replacing Gordon Strachan with a Gordon Strachan clone would not be the wisest decision Dermot Desmond, Peter Lawwell and John Reid have ever made.

Sadly, that sums up the problem. In the cold light of day, now the dust has settled and Strachan has left the club, Desmond, Lawwell and John Reid – the “balance sheet bhoys” all remain. Things could get a lot worse before they start getting better.

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