Eddie Howe To Celtic – The Pros and Cons

It’s looking increasingly likely that former AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe will become the new boss at Celtic (Source Daily Record).

The Scottish Premiership side are hoping that the Englishman can come in and bring success and trophies back to Parkhead.

But as with every managerial appointment there comes to risk.

So here’s what I feel could be some pros and cons in Celtic appointing Howe as their next manager.


Excites The Fans

Out of all the realistic and talked about managerial targets, Howe was the one that most of the supporters wanted.

His arrival will remind them of Brendan Rodgers coming to the club in 2016. Howe is seen as a progressive coach, he’s a good communicator and was well thought of during his time as a gaffer in the Premier League.

Favours Attacking Football

Bournemouth, especially when they were chasing The English Championship title, liked to focus on an attacking brand of football. That changed slightly as they got used to life in England’s top flight but they never became overly negative, just more of a counter attacking side.

Being one of the big boys of Scottish football, I’d bet that Howe would once again look to attack opposition teams. That would add to the excitement at Celtic Park, The Hoops fans love to see their players on the front foot.

Can Make Astute Signings

Looking back at his earlier times at The Cherries and Eddie Howe brought in good players at a decent price. These are player who often remained at the club for a long time and probably overachieved.

Callum Wilson joined for £3.3m from Coventry City and would become an England international. Current Cherries captain Steve Cook has been at the club since 2012, when Howe returned to Bournemouth.

Trusts Young Players

David Brooks, Lewis Cook, Junior Stanislas, Adam Ramsdale and Ryan Fraser were all given prolonged spells in Bournemouth’s first team at young ages.

Some Celtic managers shirk at picking younger players, they get bogged down by the pressure of winning titles. I would imagine Howe will believe he can win silverware with talented youngsters within his first team squad. Those players are the ones that can be moulded and help with a club’s vision.

It would also fit the Celtic philosophy of buying potential at certain fee and then giving them a chance to shine before selling them on for a nice profit.

A Dedicated Professional

When you listen those that have worked with Eddie Howe in the past, you’ll notice most will point to how hard he works and his dedication to the job.

Former Bournemouth captain Tommy Elphick said:

“He’s very meticulous,”

“He’s detailed in his work and spends a lot of time getting to know his players.”

Via BBC Sport

In an interview with The Guardian in 2015, Howe showed how much detail went into bossing Bournemouth. Communication with his coaching team was vital. He would note everything down in diaries and he’d then delve back into those same diaries to give him the chance to reflect on what’s worked in the past. Every training session is filmed and is watched, as he craves learning from every detail and improving wherever and whenever possible.

He’s also a manager that really throws himself into learning about a club’s history. That sort of exhaustive dedication will impress both the Celtic hierarchy and the club’s faithful.

Open To New Ideas

The forty-three year old has always been keen to scour world football and highlight trends that are working in other countries.

Howe has visited many clubs on the continent to learn from various coaches and their techniques. Many felt that Neil Lennon had struggled to adapt to certain new nuances in modern day football and that he was stuck in a rut. That’s something that Eddie seems to try and avoid.


Struggled To Get Most Out Of Bigger Transfers

When established in the Premier League, Bournemouth would open their chequebook and spend a bit more on players. It can be argued that some of these signings struggled under Howe.

Current Rangers hitman Jermain Defoe said that he didn’t have the best relationship with Howe and that impacted on his performances:

“I didn’t really have a relationship with the manager. I was closer to (assistant) Jason Tindall, but I just felt like the manager, he probably didn’t know how to manage me for whatever reason. That was it really.”

Via Talksport

Other veterans Sylvain Distin and Asmir Begovic also seemed to fall out with the coach.

Jordan Ibe arrived for a record £15m fee, yet Howe could never get the best out of the forward. Ibe departed on a free four years later on a free transfer. In January 2019, England U21 international striker Dominic Solanke arrived in a £19m deal (Source BBC Sport). Solanke would play forty-two Premier League games for Howe’s Bournemouth and only managed a meagrely three goals!

Couldn’t Stop A Slump

Last season AFC Bournemouth won nine games, four of those victories came in their first eleven games. In that same timeframe they lost just three times.

In the next twenty-seven fixtures, The Cherries would lose a whopping nineteen times. Twice they went on five game losing runs.

Eddie seemed helpless to stop the slide. That might sound eerily familiar to Celtic fans and what they witnessed under Lennon this season.

Hasn’t Won A Major Trophy

Now this isn’t a major negative in my book, a successful manager always has to start somewhere. It was something people also said about Steven Gerrard and Brendan Rodgers before they moved north.

It is a question mark that will surround Howe until he wins something, that’s just how it works in Glasgow.

He Needs To Understand Results Matter

Elphick would state to BBC Sport:

“The biggest message we were given was that the performance would always outweigh the result,”

“If the performances were there, the results would follow.”

That mantra has a pretty short shelf life in the Glasgow goldfish bowl. Yes, you will get given a bit of time to try and marry the two but you cannot afford too many slip-ups as your rival could soon runaway with the title.

Neither of John Barnes‘ or Tommy Burns‘ Celtic teams played bad football, they could be pretty entraining but they didn’t win enough games (Barnes) or trophies (Burns).

Sitting in second place in Scotland isn’t seen as an achievement at either Celtic or Rangers. So finding a good attacking brand of football is important but it’s essential to find a winning formula quickly.

Might Favour Attacking Football Too Much

Howe may have the same stubbornness to stick to his attacking philosophy that Rodgers had at Celtic Park.

That won’t really be seen as a negative amongst the Celtic support, especially not to begin with but it may hamper Howe in Europe and in bigger domestic encounters.

Rangers are now a different prospect to what Rodgers usually had to deal with during his era at Parkhead. They can win in various different ways and if Gerrard manages to workout a way of beating Howe’s Celtic, then can Eddie divert from his chosen attacking path?

If Gerrard shows teams how it can be done then others like Aberdeen and Hibs will try and use a similar template against Celtic.

Rodgers’ Celtic were humbled in Europe, can Howe change things in that arena to make the Glasgow giants competitive?


If Eddie Howe is to become the next Celtic manager, as widely predicted, then it will certainly bring excitement and optimism to Glasgow’s East End.

I am not as quick to jump onto any hype train. He is still a manager that has to prove he has what it takes to step into such a major role.

But compared to others that were being linked with the job, I’d say that the pros outweigh the cons and Celtic will be a better and more attractive team next term!

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