Livingston midfielder Marvin Bartley has been pushing the prospect of Eddie Howe at Celtic.
The out-of-work Englishman has been spoken about by supporters as one of their main choices for the Parkhead managerial gig. This comes after extreme pressure being thrown on Neil Lennon after a horrific, nightmarish campaign.
Howe managed, incredibly, to bring Bournemouth up from English League Two to the Premier League. He also had a less memorable spell at Burnley, a period that’s totally overshadowed by his immense success in making the Cherries a top-10 Premier League outfit.
In his final season, Howe did see his side relegated. But it hasn’t been enough to dent his reputation. And Bartley, who worked under the tactician at both Burnley and Bournemouth, labeled the coach his “best by a country mile.”
Speaking on the Go Radio Football Show [16/02, 18:05], the Livi man said: “You mentioned Eddie Howe, who I have also worked under before, and if they could get him in, for me he’s fantastic and who I’d be going for if Celtic are going to make the change.
“It doesn’t look like it will happen now, end of the season at best but for me Howe is absolutely fantastic and a great, great choice.
“I have worked under some good managers but coaching wise Eddie Howe was the best by a country mile.”
Bartley comments unsurprising, but no final Celtic decision on Howe looks likely anytime soon
Well, it’s certainly not surprising to see yet more pundits big up Howe. We’re talking about a man who was once tipped to be a future England manager [The Telegraph]. Even now, you wouldn’t bet against that happening at some point down the line either.
Of course, in order for Celtic to secure Howe, it seems as though we would need to hope he would be willing to work with a Director of Football [Daily Mail]. Whether this would be a roadblock remains to be seen.
But no final decision from Celtic looks likely. Not after Ian Bankier’s statement yesterday more or less confirmed that Lennon will be remaining in the post for the foreseeable future. For many, the natural time for a replacement will be the end of the season.
In a sense, that leaves us taking a gamble if we want Howe. We would need to hope that he doesn’t decide to take up a job offer earlier than that. And there are pros for Howe in going into a club before the season’s over. It effectively allows him to assess his new squad ahead of a crucial summer transfer window.
As of yet, Newcastle have been the only club linked with a move for him outside of Celtic [The Sun]. The sheer adulation for him from the Hoops support would make him a popular option. It would also symbolise genuine change and a progressive move from the club.
For now, however, the former Bournemouth man remains unemployed and awaiting his next big opportunity in football – could that truly be at Celtic Park?