"No Kyogo and no Angeball"; Pundit shudders at what could've been at Celtic
Former Celtic attacking midfielder Kris Commons has been reflecting on a difficult weekend for Eddie Howe and how much the Bhoys are better off without him.
As we discussed on Saturday, Newcastle United were knocked out of the FA Cup in front of a sold-out crowd to lowly Cambridge United. It was a terrible result and one of the worst many of their fans will have witnessed, Hereford aside.
Undoubtedly Howe went into a difficult situation at the Magpies and is only at the start of his journey in the dugout there. But it can’t be denied a lot of Celtic fans took the result as an opportunity to thank fate that we ended up with Ange Postecoglou instead.
Commons summed it up in his Scottish Daily Mail column today [10/01 print edition, page 74], stating: “I’m sure there were plenty of Celtic supporters sniggering as they watched the highlights on Saturday night — and who can blame them?
“Howe was offered the Celtic job on a plate. The club bent over backwards to try and accommodate him and provide him with all he needed. But he knocked it back largely on the basis that the make-up of his backroom and scouting team wasn’t quite what he wanted. Or, in other words, he bottled it.
“As Howe toils to make any sort of impact at Newcastle, it looks like they dodged a bullet. And a very expensive bullet at that, given the size of the wage packet which I heard had been offered to Howe.
“Listen, maybe he would have done well in Glasgow. Ultimately, we’ll never know. But, if he had taken the job, there would have been no Kyogo and no Angeball. Right now, if offered the choice between Howe and Postecoglou, there isn’t a Celtic supporter in the land who wouldn’t choose Big Ange all day long.”
Commons has hardly been the most popular Celtic pundit over the last couple of years, as good a player as he was. But I’m sure many would find it hard to disagree with his assessment here.
For me, the situation is less a slight on Howe and more an opportunity to rejoice at Postecoglou’s impact. I’m not trying to tear the Newcastle boss down. I actually think he’s a good manager.
But, for me, so far Postecoglou has shown he’s a bit more than a manager or a coach. He’s been a unifying force at Celtic.
There’s still a long way to go but I genuinely think we are in a fantastic pair of hands.