I would have got to this article last week, but kind of a lot of happened and was happening. Nevertheless, there was never any doubt that I would visit this subject, that of Eddie Howe and his latest clarification on why he turned down the Celtic job.
Let me say that I don’t mind Howe. He’s never spoken about Celtic with other than respect; anyway, it gets easier to forgive someone for stringing you along when a better option comes along and presents itself instead.
That’s what happened here. Howe doesn’t need to keep on explaining himself to us, most Celtic fans don’t care that much anymore. Still, I do thank him for offering an insight into the decision, and for confirmed what some of us have long suspected.
We’re dealing here with two entirely different personalities, and I know which one I’d value highest.
Howe didn’t want to come here without the support of his mates. He sees it as a high-pressure environment and to do the job he needed to be surrounded by his team.
Fair enough and it’s not an illegitimate point of view. Far from it.
But Ange didn’t need a support network, outside of his family. It was not immediately obvious when he arrived in Scotland, but when you hear him talk it is clear that this is a man of remarkable self-confidence. He believed absolutely in himself and did not need to be surrounded by yes-men or by his pals. He wasn’t in the least bit afraid of the pressure.
We knew this already, of course, but there has been a lot of speculation about what Howe’s reasons actually were. In the end it is fair to say that he lacked confidence in his ability to do the job without his entourage. Ange had no such concerns.
Howe is doing just fine at Newcastle, and there is little doubt that he would have done a good job at Celtic. But perhaps not a great job. Ange is clearly a much better fit than the Englishman would have been, and his style of football is vastly more pleasing on the eye.
I wish Howe well. It’s clear that he didn’t see Celtic as any kind of step down, and it’s clear that he would have welcomed the chance to take on the role.
But this need he had to assemble his full backroom team betrays a weakness which Ange doesn’t possess.
I thought Howe’s decision not to take on the job was a disaster for us, but the irony is that it brought the right guy to us.
All has worked out for the best.