We all wanted Eddie Howe, and we were that close to getting him as Celtic manager back in the late spring of 2021. Thankfully, in the end, we got our second choice in Ange Postecoglou and no Celtic supporter ever had any regrets about the way things turned out with that managerial appointment.
Think back to 2021. We were in a period of transition. We had just lost out on the league title for the first time in a decade and on the search for the right man to put us back on the track to success by building a new Celtic team.
Eddie Howe was highly tipped to be that man and the highly rated Englishman was all set to take the job, it was a done deal apparently and all that was required was his signature on the dotted line. Or so we all thought.
For some reason or another it didn’t happen. No one really knows why, but there were rumblings of Howe not being happy that he couldn’t get the coaching staff he wanted. How much truth is in that, is anyone’s guess.
Anyway it didn’t happen. We landed the ‘unknown’ Aussie Ange Postecoglou, Hugh Keevins warned he was Absolutely Not Good Enough and the rest as they say is history.
They say things happen for a reason, and on this occasion it worked out fine and dandy for Celtic. Ange Postecoglou came in and transformed our team beyond recognition and had us playing some of the best football we’ve witnessed at Celtic Park in many a long year.
We won five out of six trophies in the next two seasons including two titles. Being successful was the main objective, but the cherry on the cake was going to Celtic Park every other week and being treated to pure, beautiful, entertaining football. We were playing the Glasgow Celtic way and the support were loving every minute of it. It was a wonderful couple of years.
Eddie Howe of course went on to manage Newcastle United. He led them to the top four last season and as result earned them entry to the Champions League. But this term has seen them finish bottom of their Champions League group and they currently sit a disappointing tenth in the Premier League. That’s despite them spending an absolute fortune thanks to their Saudi based mega-rich owners.
Contrast that to Ange Postecoglou who has Spurs sitting fifth despite spending much less and having to deal with a horrendous injury list this campaign. Ange won the Premier League manager of the month for his first three months of his first season and without those freakish injury problems we have well have won a fourth and maybe a fifth.
Eddie Howe has never managed a big club before and that has been noted this season with murmurs now doing the rounds that it’s increasingly looking like the Newcastle job might be a step up too far for the former Bournemouth manager.
Newcastle, like Celtic have large supporters. We are well used to silverware success but the Geordies are not and when the hated Mike Ashley finally sold the club to the Saudis their support reckoned that the glory days were here. So far it’s not turned out that way for Eddie Howe and you wonder if he is going to be given time to bring success to Tyneside.
In retrospect, it was a blessing in disguise that Eddie Howe’s move to Celtic fell through. I guess we will never know, but getting Ange Postecoglou was meant to be, and it turned out to be the right move for Celtic for those two glorious seasons.
Just an Ordinary Bhoy