"Different kettle of fish"; former Cherries captain Tommy Elphick claims Celtic supporters must be patient with Eddie Howe

By Euan Davidson

April 2, 2021

Celtic fans will need to be patient if Eddie Howe arrives at the club.

Ex-Bournemouth captain Tommy Elphick, now of Huddersfield Town, has talked up Howe’s managerial qualities. He did, however, emphasise the upgrade in responsibility for the English boss, should he join the Bhoys.

Elphick played 145 times for Eddie Howe at Bournemouth [Transfermarkt]. He’s subsequently had spells with Aston Villa, Hull City and Reading, before joining Championship side Huddersfield.

He told the BBC:

“There will be a period of rebuilding, so it may take six months, a year, or longer.

“If the fans can do that and allow that time, I’m sure it will be a huge success.”

Elphick did, however, stress how meticulous and passionate the EFL’s Manager of the Decade is when he’s working. The 33-year-old said:

“He’s detailed in his work and spends a lot of time getting to know his players.

“At Bournemouth he really tapped into the history of the club, made us proud to wear the shirt, and got us playing in a way that resonated with the fans.

“He’ll tap into the big history of Celtic and his style of play will really suit. It’s exciting, fast paced, we always went to win the game whether it was against Man City in the Premier League or Oldham in League One.”

Eddie Howe could be on his way to Celtic / (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Knowing the history and detailed preparation: Eddie Howe ticks the boxes for Celtic supporters

Given how proud Celtic supporters are of our magnificent history, Elphick raises an important point. As a keen student of the game, Howe will already no doubt know the basics, at least. Regardless of shock-jocks and nay-sayers down south, the Scottish top-flight and its clubs garner a great deal of respect.

Inspiring a squad, especially one that’ll feature several additions, will be absolutely vital, of course. With no disrespect to the Cherries, however, it should be easier to motivate footballers to play for Celtic. Of course, there are notable exceptions who have never really fit in here, but Howe shouldn’t have too much of a job on his hands in that regard, you’d hope.

The concerning thing is the length of a potential rebuild. If Celtic do go in for Howe, then it should’ve happened a lot, lot sooner. Neil Lennon has been out of a job several weeks, and if we had brought in a manager to overhaul the side well before the summer, it would’ve had longer-term advantages.

That’s not to moan for the sake of moaning. We’d still be delighted with this appointment regardless of the timing.

Stiliyan Petrov might not like it, and Eddie Howe will still be expected to win matches from day one, should he join. Perhaps though, Elphick is right in saying that it might take time for the full potential of Howe at Celtic to be realised.

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