If you cast your mind back to the spring of 2016, you may find some remarkable similarities between the Celtic of then and now.
That season the Bhoys won the Scottish Premiership title and although the sting of failure didn’t bite quite so hard, it was also clear a big transition was on the way.
Celtic would eventually appoint Brendan Rodgers and the rest, good and bad, is history.
However, in the days preceding that massive announcement on May 20th, you may have been forgiven for thinking that the then potential appointment was dead in the water – perhaps even more dead than the current state of play with Eddie Howe.
Indeed, Celtic, just days prior released a very snippy statement decrying media reports that they had a preferred candidate for the post.
BBC Sport reported on May 18th 2016 that Rodgers was the ‘top candidate’ after positive talks with Dermot Desmond. Sound familiar? It will do if you’ve been following the Howe updates over the last seven days.
Later that afternoon Celtic hit back, stating on the official website: “Following some speculation regarding the appointment of a new Celtic manager, the facts are as follows:
“The club has been and will be speaking to a number of candidates and we will take our time to go through this process thoroughly and in the proper manner. There is no ‘preferred’ candidate.
“We will continue this process with the aim of identifying a new manager who we believe will deliver success to the club.
“Clearly we will not be able to provide daily updates on this issue. However, our supporters will be the first to know when a new manager has been appointed.”
Very sassy Celtic. Could you imagine if they made that kind of statement today after what Howe’s agent said last night? I’m not sure Twitter would survive.
Two days later Rodgers was officially announced as our new manager. I doubt it was a last-minute thing.
Anyway, none of this is to criticise the club, it’s to say that in this game things are very rarely as they seem.
That Rodgers timeline is a lesson that the last 24 hours of ‘cooling’ interest on Howe’s part doesn’t really tell us anything about his intention of taking the job, or not.
This is unlikely to be played out too much in public, certainly in terms of back-and-forth negotiation.
Posturing is inevitable, especially when agents are involved, but everyone has to ‘keep the heid’ as my late father would say!