Kris Boyd launches "fantasist" rant in Celtic and Eddie Howe's direction; why he is wrong

By Euan Davidson

April 3, 2021

It took no time at all for the naysayers to come out in force after The Sun revealed Eddie Howe was Celtic-bound “in principle”.

No time whatsoever. After last night’s news got Celtic hearts pumping, there has been the inevitable backlash. Supporters and ex-players have rounded on the mooted future Bhoys boss. It’s staggeringly predictable, inaccurate stuff most of time. Rangers fans on social media have hammered the point about Howe leaving Burnley because he was homesick. It’s easily disprovable stuff, of course.

Yes, fine: if you want to play Devil’s Advocate, here’s the argument you can make. Tony Mowbray was also known for successful, entertaining football in the EFL. He, too, got a club promoted, playing high-intensity, eye-catching stuff. Mowbray, like Eddie Howe, is English.

So far, so yawn. And guess who’s the chief peddler of this stuff? Kris Boyd.

Yes, this writer has already made the point that pundits like Boyd are paid to be controversial. Formerly, his trade was in goals, now it’s in clicks and controversy. Most of what he says is very obvious bait. This time though, it’s not about raging at his opinions. It’s a case of laughing at the absolute nonsense coming out of our so-called “commentariat”.

Boyd said [Sun]:

“Those supporters seem to be welcoming this appointment as the second coming.

“But there’s a real danger this job is too big for someone who has never worked for a club where the only thing that matters is winning.

“Howe did a good job at Bournemouth — but there is no comparison with Glasgow and the intensity of working in that environment.

“Does Howe know what he’ll be letting himself in for?”

Eddie Howe with fans / (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Eddie Howe and Tony Mowbray comparisons are reductive, but that’s not stopping our “best” pundits

Boyd continued:

“It’s one thing to say his teams play good football, but when it comes to the cut and thrust of life at the Old Firm — when titles are at stake — that comes a poor second behind getting three points.

“[Mowbray] had been a Celtic player, but he didn’t get that.

“His head was in the clouds when he was manager and my worry is that Howe could be the same football fantasist.”

Now, call it Celtic Paranoia if you like, but I don’t remember Steven Gerrard being afforded this level of scrutiny from Scotland’s best-paid pundits. He arrived at Rangers off the back of coaching the Liverpool Development side. His appointment was still met with excitement by the Gers supporters. They were quite entitled to that excitement, and in the long-term, it’s worked out for them.

But if they were allowed to laud the signing of Gerrard, then we can get excited about the EFL Manager of the Decade, it’s fair to say.

As for the Tony Mowbray comparison again; fine. It didn’t work out. But Mowbray’s appointment wasn’t met with nearly the same optimism as Howe’s is. Mogga, who despite everything is borne little ill-will by supporters, came to Celtic from Hibs. His credentials, while solid, weren’t the same as Howe’s. The similarities start and end with Championship success and attacking football.

Howe secured top-flight status for a club who were close to dropping out the English Football League. That’s not the same as – with all due respect – securing another Premier League year for a perennial yo-yo club. It’s just not.

After the season we’ve had, we really needed some excitement. Some optimism. The feeling that this club was headed in the right direction. If Celtic get this over the line, then supporters can look to 21-22 with fevered excitement rather than the dread of 20-21.

So, gies peace, Kris.

READ MORE: “Paul Lambert was my hero”; meet the Celtic-daft Eddie Howe colleague who could be landing his dream job soon enough.