"It's a bigger job than Bournemouth"; ex-Celtic striker Carlton Cole offers Howe verdict

By Euan Davidson

April 2, 2021

Former Celtic striker Carlton Cole has spoken positively about an Eddie Howe managerial reign.

Cole, who spent a single season with the Bhoys, provided some much-needed balance to the Howe discourse. Talking up the club he joined late in his career, Cole emphasises the expectations of supporters, and credited Howe with “miracles” in his prior job.

Cole said [TalkSport]:

“For [Howe], that’s a brilliant move. He’s one of those guys that knows his football.

“Celtic fans are no mugs. They know someone that is really good at bringing their culture to a club.

“We saw what he did at Bournemouth, he created miracles over there.

“The next step for him is somewhere like Celtic where he can find his feet again and make them successful again. I think that’s a really good fit.

“It’s a bigger job than Bournemouth, so he needs to understand what he’s going in to.

“It’s a massive opportunity for him though.”

Carlton Cole showing his agility in 2003 / (Photo Gary M Prior/ Getty Images)

Ex-Celtic man Carlton Cole offers balance in English media’s debate over Howe

After yesterday’s frustrating hot takes, specifically on TalkSport, it was good to hear from someone who actually knows his stuff.

More heartening than that, it’s great that Carlton Cole has admiration for the club and its supporters. It didn’t necessarily work out for the ex-Chelsea and West Ham man in Glasgow, with only one goal from 5 outings in the Hoops [Transfermarkt].

Regardless, he could probably have every right to be bitter about his time at Celtic. He isn’t, and instead he’s talking us up in an arena where so much nonsense has been spouted about our stature. Cole doesn’t necessarily need to placate Celtic supporters, but he chose to.

As for his opinions on Howe? It’s hard to find any fault. This is, it should be reminded, a massive opportunity for Howe, too. So many legends have wilted under the Celtic Park lights, and even the most mentally robust players and coaches have felt the pressure. For Howe, a “miracle worker” at Bournemouth, it’s a new kind of challenge.

A challenge that he may very well relish.

Undoubtedly, the Celtic job is bigger than Bournemouth, and that’s not to discredit the Cherries. They’re a well-run club who have punched above their weight for a considerable time. For many younger supporters, they’re synonymous with the Premier League despite their relegation last-year. They became top-flight mainstays for a period, and deserve credit.

Celtic, though, is “different gravy”, as the kids say. Here’s hoping he’s up to the task.

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