There have been times over the last few weeks when I’ve forgotten that we’re still playing out the season . I’ve been switched off to this season since February if I’m honest, when the outcome became clear.
Its all about next season now and my focus has been on our recruitment.
We proved with Brendan that shelling out for a good manager is good value and its importance was cemented when we tried to go cheap with Lennon in the hope that our ‘superior’ squad could get us over the line. It didn’t. We were rudderless and our ‘superior’ players, when left un-coached by a top quickly became inferior.
So onto next season and not making the same mistakes.
Howe ticks all the boxes for me but there’s a section within the support who seem unable to detach themselves from the comfort of having a ‘Celtic minded’ manager.
[snack-countdown title=”Celtic’s Countdown To Champions League Disaster” date=”06/20/2021″ time=”00:00:00″ colour=”#000″ textColour=”#FFF”]
They want Roy Keane and I’ve heard various justifications for this.
‘He will intimidate Gerard’, ‘He knows the English market’ and the increasingly tedious ‘He knows what it’s all about!’
Or they question the wisdom of appointing Howe on the grounds that he’s never won anything, he has no European experience and of course ‘He doesn’t understand the pressure!”
These points are easily tackled of course.
He exceeded the wildest of expectations at Bournemouth, first avoiding what seemed like a certain relegation out the English football league then winning promotion the following year after starting on minus 17 points.
That was followed by consecutive promotions through arguably the most competitive leagues in Europe and ultimately into the promised land of the EPL.
Its hard to quantify just what an achievement that is for such a rookie manager with such a provincial club.
Things didnt go to plan for him at Burnley but that works in our favour because if he had been successful we wouldnt have a hope in hell of signing him.
The European experience angle is a red herring.
Neil Lennon had bags of European experience and we got humbled at the hands of such giants as Cluj and Ferencvaros and yet across the city Gerard hadnt managed a first team game prior to his arrival, and yet he has been able to have his team compete against and beat decent Europa League level sides that i wouldnt be confident of Celtic beating this year!
And as for ‘knowing the club/city etc, I honestly couldnt care less if he couldnt point out Glasgow or Ireland on a map.
I have no interest in what club he supported as a kid.
I care that he can take decent players and make them better, that he’s tactically aware enough to prepare a team for the different situations in Europe and I care that he’s up to speed on all the relevent sports science that could give us an edge.
To those who want Roy Keane, I have one question, if he wasnt Irish would he even be on your radar as a candidate?
There is not a football argument for having Keane over Howe.
Not a single one.
For me, it’s Howe or bust.
It is comforting to know that Celtic’s board has the same idea.
Chris Cominato is a Celtic fan from Glasgow. He is a frequent contributor to this site.