Eddie Howe on the class training ground experience he got with former Celtic boss

By John McGinley

April 5, 2021

Eddie Howe is a huge admirer of former Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers, and it’s interesting to revisit his comments on the Leicester manager in the midst of all this speculation.

The Herald reported last week that Howe had sounded out an unnamed former Hoops manager about the current vacancy at Celtic Park. I reckon, on a hunch, the most likely candidate is Rodgers.

The pair are well known to each other both as managerial colleagues and former opponents, facing off multiple times over the years.

However, it’s a training ground visit to Rodgers, then manager of Swansea in the English Premier League that he treasures most.

Speaking to The Coaches’ Voice in 2020, Howe explained the encounter: “One positive that came from my time there [at Burnley] was the chance to observe Brendan Rodgers. Swansea had been promoted to the Premier League, and I was in the Championship. We had met after a game the previous season and got on really well.

“I asked him: ‘Can I come and see you work?’ He invited me down, and I spent a couple of days with him. He was brilliant. He was absolutely superb with me and very, very generous with his time.

“We shared a few stories and I’m forever grateful for that, because you need people who help you along the way. At times it is a tough, tough, lonely job, and Brendan was brilliant.

“I watched a couple of training sessions, but it was more the time he gave me afterwards that counted. There was a little bit of a tactical discussion between us about how he does things and how they work, and what their schedule was.

“All of these things are very important, and he opened up to me and told me what it was they were doing. He just seemed keen to help.”

Celtic will have an ally in Brendan Rodgers when it comes to Eddie Howe homework

Now… I’m not completely tone-deaf. I understand that Rodgers isn’t exactly the most popular person amongst Celtic supporters. I don’t have much love for him myself.

However, when you consider Howe doing homework on Celtic and who he’d likely be speaking to, he isn’t going to get any better advice than from Rodgers.

The Leicester boss has seen all sides of the job in Glasgow – the adulation, the passion, the European challenges, the success, the wrath of supporters.

Is Eddie Howe on his way to Celtic? / (Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

If anyone can give him an overview of the club in the modern age then it’s him. And that’s important. If Howe commits to Celtic he must do so with his eyes fully open.

Clearly a follower of Rodgers’ career, Howe will know how much it can boost a profile. When considering his own path in football, that may be a factor.

Celtic likely have a cheerleader in Rodgers when it comes to Howe reaching out. I’m happy about that, regardless of my thoughts on the way he left us.

In other news, supporters are happy Dominic McKay is likely to join Celtic early.