Everyone and their Gran has now given their take on Eddie Howe going to Celtic.
Amongst the pundits, the ex-professionals and the shock-jocks, another credible source emerges. Via the excellent Football CFB, Marvin Bartley has talked up the virtues of Howe’s management. Bartley played under Howe at Bournemouth and Burnley, racking up 124 appearances for the Cherries [Transfermarkt].
“[Howe] was also at the club under Kevin Bond before he took charge so I was used to working with Eddie in a coaching capacity.
“He would take the younger players for afternoon sessions and we’d work on position specific training.
“Then, he was appointed manager after the departure of Jimmy Quinn and he made a huge impact straight away because he took the level of professionalism at the club up by one hundred times.”
“Magical”; Marvin Bartley talks up Eddie Howe, a committed manager dedicated to professionalism
The current Livi captain continued:
“He was the first manager I had who I thought, ‘This isn’t a job for him, it’s a lifestyle’ because he put absolutely everything into being the best that he could be.
“For example, he would be first into the training ground and last out of the training ground. He knew our strengths and worked hard on how we could exploit our opponents weaknesses.
“I think every player who played under him at that time would say the same thing: the culture he created around the whole club was magical.”
Praise indeed. For supporters who have crave the meticulousness and standards of Brendan Rodgers, Bartley’s words are musical. On so many occasions, Neil Lennon’s Celtic looked ill-equipped to deal with certain opposition. In the Europa League this season, we were very much found out.
Equally, against the likes of Ross County, Hibs and St Mirren, opposition managers could pin-point our deficiencies ahead of kick-off. Celtic were vulnerable, with areas to exploit. It didn’t seem like anyone was doing their homework.
The incredibly likeable ex-Hibs midfielder’s take on Howe is an informed one. And it’s enough to add to the already incredible levels of excitement in the Celtic family.
We’re still holding out hope that there’s no last-minute hitch. Anything can happen.
It’s starting to look very good though, isn’t it?