Celtic need to get act together to attract Eddie Howe; something says they won't

By Euan Davidson

January 19, 2021

Celtic and Eddie Howe. For some, it’s the perfect marriage of forward-thinking manager and club in need of direction. Others suggest he lacks experience with trophy-hunting clubs and wouldn’t fancy it anyway.

The rumours just won’t disperse, ignited last week by former Celtic striker Mark Burchill. Howe, who took Bournemouth from the lower reaches of English league football to the Premier League, is hot property. Not so long ago, he was linked to the England job (Daily Mail).

His managerial CV is impressive, and like Brendan Rodgers before him, his career needs a boost after a sad end to his time in the south coast.

Celtic, meanwhile, clearly need to change course to avoid any more seasons like this one. Out of Europe by Christmas and way behind Rangers in the league, the Covid-ravaged 20-21 campaign has been dismal.

Now, though, there’s an added complication. Newcastle United’s form has plummeted under amiable manager Steve Bruce, and fans are suggesting Howe’s the man for the job (Chronicle Live).

Steve Bruce is under pressure in Newcastle / (Photo by ADAM DAVY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Lure of Newcastle hard to deny for Celtic target Eddie Howe

If Eddie Howe is indeed a target of the Celtic board, they’ve made no indication that’s the case. It’d be incredibly respectful to tout the manager’s job while Neil Lennon is at Celtic, no matter the circumstances.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has an itchy trigger finger for managers, and it’s likely he’ll be reviewing Steve Bruce’s future. The Magpies have lost 6 of their last 7 games (WhoScored?), including a loss to Brentford in the League Cup (BBC).

In fairness to Bruce, Newcastle have faced the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool during that run. But they’ve also capitulated to Leeds, and find themselves 15th in the Premier League.

Given their £30m+ outlay pre-season (Transfermarkt), Ashley will be getting impatient. Whether Eddie Howe fits the Newcastle United owner’s managerial profile is another argument altogether, though.

Howe is more of a project manager, taking time to implant his style and bring his own staff. Having only managed 2 clubs, he would need time to bed in. If Newcastle United want to stay in the top-flight, they may look for a quicker fix.

Celtic, meanwhile, need a major overhaul, and it’s a situation that Howe may find more fruitful. That said, the longer the Bhoys wait, the longer that positive results may come from an Eddie Howe tenure.

We don’t know at this stage how interested Eddie Howe is in either Celtic or Newcastle. Still, if Dermot Desmond, Peter Lawwell and co. want to get this done, they need to act fast.

A manager of the former Bournemouth man’s calibre won’t wait around forever.