Celtic are at pains to point out the interview process for the post of new manager is still on-going. But Fraser Fyvie doesn’t need to see any other CVs because he already knows from practical experience who he would appoint – Roberto Martinez, writes Alan Pattullo.
The Spaniard was sacked by Everton last week and features high in the next Celtic manager odds, perhaps helped by the fact his wife, Beth, is Scottish. Martinez also knows the Scottish game, having played for Motherwell.
But Fyvie is only interested in what he experienced under Martinez during their spell together at Wigan Athletic. The Hibs midfielder would gladly see him back in Scottish football at Celtic.
Even though he complains he didn’t play enough – Fyvie made only nine first-team appearances under him – he was unequivocal when asked for his view on Martinez: he loved him. “When I was at Wigan everyone loved him,” he said. “I loved him. The only thing I didn’t like is that I didn’t play enough games. But no, he was great. If he can get that job it will be great for him.
“Obviously, he has done well at Everton, except for maybe one disappointing season. But I can only talk about what I have experienced with him and he has been fantastic. “The things he taught me as a football player tactically I can only thank him for. The Wigan players at that time loved him: Shaun Maloney, Gary Caldwell and especially James McCarthy, pictured below. If Celtic could get him, it would be fantastic.”
Fyvie states you only have to look at Martinez’ influence on former Hamilton Accies starlet McCarthy’s career to see what he could bring to Celtic, whose young stars such Kieran Tierney and Jack Aitchison are currently offering such promise.
“He took him [McCarthy] down to Wigan from Hamilton when he was 18 years old for £1m and I think by the time he was 21 or 22 he had played 150 games for Wigan in the Premier League – that speaks for itself,” he said. “If he did get the Celtic job, there’s no doubt he would give youth a chance. He believes in that – it is part of his philosophy.”