Potential Celtic manager Eddie Howe receives Alex Ferguson endorsement

By Euan Davidson

May 22, 2021

If you’re a football manager, it surely can’t get much better than receiving praise from Alex Ferguson.

So, when Gary Neville asked his former Manchester United boss about top young coaches, Eddie Howe will have been delighted. In an interview with Sport Bible, Fergie was asked about all manner of topics, from his favourite strikers, to his most under-rated signings.

I imagine, if you’re a Manchester United supporter, it’ll have been quite the illuminating interview. But it was a good insight into the workings of a Scottish legend, one who was assistant to Jock Stein for the national team.

Asked about his favourite modern managers, Ferguson named Klopp and Guardiola. But, most promisingly from a Hoops perspective, Ferguson said [Sportbible]:

“On young managers, Eddie Howe had a great period at Bournemouth. I think he did very well. Even though he was relegated, it’s doesn’t mean to say he’s not a good manager, I think he is a good manager.”

With Celtic having agreed a deal “in principle” for the ex-Cherries boss, it’s good to hear someone like Alex Ferguson giving this kind of verdict. Fergie, after all, was the last manager to truly break the Old Firm duopoly, back in the 80s with Aberdeen.

Alex Ferguson and Jock Stein working together / (Photo by David Cannon/Allsport/Getty Images)

Alex Ferguson endorsement will sound good to Celtic fans

Despite his playing time with Rangers, Ferguson is hardly a hated figure at Celtic. Ferguson has paid tribute to the Lisbon Lions on plenty of occasions [BBC]. Also, he’s imparted advice to recent Bhoys figures, including former manager Neil Lennon. Lenny told the BBC in March 2020:

“Football management is lonely at times. Everything stops with you. You have to strike a balance, you can’t let it dominate your life. If it’s 24/7 and you’re winning then everything is brilliant, but when it’s 24/7 and things are going wrong you have to have a valve you can turn off.

“You have to find other things to do even though at times it’s virtually impossible. I always remember Fergie [Sir Alex Ferguson] telling me that when Roger Federer lost a final he would take his family out to dinner and they weren’t allowed to talk about tennis. That’s a good one.

“You analyse a game to death but you can’t get it back. Deal with it on the day and move on. Fergie had the horses as a distraction. I like to read. It can’t always be work, work, work or it will grind you down eventually.”

With valuable input, more trophies than seems realistic and experience working with Celtic’s best-ever manager, Fergie’s words hold weight.

If he reckons Eddie Howe is a top young manager, then it’s worth considering.

READ MORE: Chris Sutton’s grim assessment