Is Dan Petrescu going to be Celtic’s next coach?
This is a question that a lot of people have been asking recently, if Chelsea’s ex winger, Dan Petrescu, will come take over as the new manager of Celtic. The team has been going through a rough run recently, which culminated in a 1-1 draw with St. Johnsone on Sunday. That leaves Celtic in quite the spot, taking into consideration rivals Rangers are first place, 13 points above The Hoops. Which is quite ironic, given how Rangers was in a tough situation for most of this decade, playing in the lower leagues and only promoting in the Premiership in 2016; and most of that time, they struggled to get the desired results, even being eliminated in Europa League by Luxembourg outfit Progrès Niederkorn in the first qualifying round, in 2017. A long time’s passed since then and Rangers have been slowly building a competitive team that looks like it’s gonna win their first league title since 2011; Celtic, on the other hand, might find their 9 consecutive titles run stopped by their bitters rivals after a full decade of domination over Scottish football.
That aside, the fans have been asking Neil Lennon’s resignation for the past weeks, and are even more vocal about it after the draw Celtic recorded against St. Johnsone on Sunday. Dan Petrescu could be considered a candidate for the position since he’s an opponent Celtic knows very well. Recently sacked from Romanian champions CFR Cluj, Petrescu has lead them to three consecutive league titles in Romania, along with a qualification in the last 32 in Europa League last season, where they were eliminated by eventual winners Sevilla after two draws. During that European campaign, Petrescu managed to defeat Celtic two times in 4 meetings, first being in a 4-3 win on Celtic Park in the third qualifying round of the Champions League (which eliminated Celtic from the Champions League on a 4-5 aggregate score) and the second time in the Europa League group stages, in the very last game of the group, a 0-2 defeat in Cluj. Celtic only won against CFR in the first Europa League game on Celtic Park, a 2-0 win.
In addition to his successful years at Cluj, Dan Petrescu is a manager with a lot of experience, having managed clubs in Poland, Russia, Qatar, and China, besides his native Romania. His rise as manager came with the now defunct club Unirea Urziceni, which he managed to lead to a historical league title in 2009, along with a record 8 points in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League; Petrescu’s Unirea recording a historical 4-1 win against Rangers on Ibrox at that time. There’s no doubt that Dan Petrescu has quite the record against Scottish clubs with his Romanian teams in European football, and his defensive style could be a nice fit for Celtic. Let’s see if he’s to be considered if Neil Lennon is sacked after this poor run of results.