The ruthless decision Howe must make to truly symbolise change at Celtic

By David Walton

May 24, 2021

Eddie Howe to Celtic looks like it’s imminent, and that has plenty of Hoops supporters buzzing with excitement.

According to the Daily Record, Celtic want to announce the Englishman by the end of the week. With Bournemouth’s season now over and Howe’s preferred staff available, nothing is stopping the club from getting it done.

This is something the fans have been waiting for since February. Not simply because it’s a new manager, but because he represents pure change at the football club. Total 100% change and a massive shift from the Neil Lennon/John Kennedy era.

The idea is that Howe will bring a more modern, forward-thinking approach to the football club. That he’ll reinvigorate things and halt the staleness that’s swept Parkhead over the last campaign.

But when he arrives he’ll have some ruthless decisions to make. Some decisions that he’ll have to make a difficult choice on in order for him to truly symbolise that change we all want. Yes, Howe needs to have a total clearout of the main coaching team and remove both John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan from their posts.

An exciting seven days for Celtic fans is about to get underway

Eddie Howe needs to remove the Celtic figures that represent previous failures

Regardless of how you feel about Kennedy or Strachan individually, they represent last season’s failures. They represent a time at the football club that fans want to forget and totally erase from next season’s regime.

Kennedy’s reputation was on a steep decline as assistant manager. However, when he became interim boss he managed to drop even quicker in Celtic supporters’ estimations. Everything from his in-game decisions to his squad selections riled the fanbase. So much so that it’s convinced many of us that he simply shouldn’t be a part of the backroom team next season.

Strachan you could say is perhaps guilty by association. The reason being that Celtic fans were never actually told what his remit was. What it was he actually provided. All he’s known for amongst the fan base is his fixation with his laptop. But what was clear was that he didn’t add anything positive to the club after his appointment back in June.

Former Celtic interim boss John Kennedy / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Both Kennedy and Strachan are still in high-profile roles at the club. Strachan in particular remains a first-team coach whilst Kennedy’s position is in the air ahead of the summer.

Some will say that Brendan Rodgers kept Kennedy on and became an invincible treble winner. Whilst that would be true, Rodgers didn’t walk into a total mess. Celtic had won the league and there was much less pressure on him to drop Kennedy.

Howe is coming into a club that needs a totally different look next season. His reported pursuit of Bournemouth coaches Stephen Purches and Simon Weatherstone is a good start. It suggests the new man wants his own team in place and wants a total overhaul. That’s the best way he can totally detatch himself from last season’s failures.

The moment even a whiff of poor form comes into the club, fingers will be pointed at the decision to keep Strachan and Kennedy on. Howe should do what needs to be done and press the reset button at this football club. Neil Lennon’s team have had their chance – they shouldn’t be anywhere near the first-team positions next season.

In other news, a reported 2020 Celtic target is now said to be worth £12.9million.