Eddie Howe is "privileged", claims Celtic hero

By Euan Davidson

April 27, 2021

Celtic favourite John Hartson has made a bold claim about Eddie Howe.

The former Bournemouth man’s name has been on the lips of Celtic supporters for a considerable time now. Having agreed “in principle” to join the club at the start of April [Sun], the momentum seems to have halted. The lack of news around the likeable English boss has caused no end of stress in the Hoops community.

Not least, John Hartson, who claimed Howe doesn’t know how lucky he is.

Hartson told Go Radio earlier today:

“Eddie Howe is privileged to be so sought after by Celtic.

“Celtic is a global club. Massive fanbase all around the world, it’s a magnificent job.

“Celtic have to respond and they have to make sure they get the right man in. Eddie Howe is umming and ahhing, maybe he’s decided he may well be going somewhere else.”

Taking his time: Eddie Howe / (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Much to gleam from Hartson’s Eddie Howe comments, but some perspective is needed

First off, when it becomes available, I can’t recommend enough going back to listen to John Hartson saying “umming and ahhing” in that thick Welsh accent. Delightful.

Secondly, Hartson is about 50% right here. Of course we think it’s a privilege to manage Celtic, and that’s because it is. Compared to clubs our size in world football, we’ve had a fraction of the number of managers. Those statistics are skewed by the long, long reigns of Willie Malley, Jock Stein and Jimmy McGrory, but the point remains.

You can’t be just anyone to manage Celtic. The board are a discerning bunch, and they seldom take what they would calculate as risks. Ronny Deila and John Barnes are the obvious exceptions, here.

However, we need to get this time-frame into perspective. From a manager’s point of view, you’re talking about a huge and very public decision, and it’s not just about football. Howe has a young family, so schools, finding a house and a million other things need to be taken into consideration.

Also, it’s not as if the Celtic board have rushed to decisions before. In the fast-paced world of modern football, the board see themselves as the wily types, who judge slowly and avoid panic. Of course, given this season’s antics, that reputation has taken quite a battering, but that only strengthens their hand here. They’ll not rush, and neither should our next manager.

Besides, there’s nothing to play for. It could be the case that the board want John Kennedy to work his notice without too much distraction, or players looking beyond him. We’ll find out eventually.

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