Eddie Howe and Celtic’s fatal flaws former Bournemouth boss already knows

Both worlds apart and yet somehow all too familiar.

Eddie Howe’s departure from Bournemouth, by his own admission, has seriously hurt him. But an almost full season outside of football has given the manager time to reflect and learn lessons that may come in handy.

Vitality Stadium icon, Howe walked away in August 2020 following the club’s relegation from the Premier League, after leading the Cherries of Darkness of League One to the exhilarating heights of England’s top flight.

At the time, it was a barely recorded separation in Glasgow.

Fast forward nearly nine months, however, and Howe was named bookmakers favorite to succeed Neil Lennon at Celtic.

Sure, just about anyone can find themselves at a steep price to keep paying off spellbinding punters these days, but there is genuine excitement about Howe among Celtic fans amid the fluctuating odds. and social media whispers.



For many, it represents an opportunity to fully modernize the way the club’s football works and lead a summer of change that will firmly close the door to a bitter end to a still historic period.

Celtic’s streak of nine straight Premiership titles and a quadruple treble shouldn’t be diminished, but football moves so fast that the here and now is all that matters when big decisions are made.

Lennon certainly felt it when the dream of the 10 In A Row club fell apart, as did Howe when his Bournemouth fairy tale came to an emotional end.

The 43-year-old went on to speak candidly about why everything ultimately went wrong and the parallels to what happened at Parkhead, while perhaps less dramatic, are notable.

Howe admitted that a waning belief and the inability to find it was a fatal blow to his team.

He told Sky Sports in November: “We just lost our zip a bit. There are several reasons for that, it was a combination; a lot of injuries, throughout the team, and when you lose your best players, also- documented this season with the number of Premier League injuries your team is injured.




“I think that’s what hurt us then was the confidence levels. If you don’t come in every game thinking you’re going to win, or believing you can win, then that’s it. that there are problems for your team.

“That’s where we were last year, I think, the ability of the team was never questioned, it’s just that we couldn’t get our best team on the pitch.”

That’s a stark parallel, considering how quickly Celtic’s iron-clad winning mentality has alarmingly crumbled.

The ruthless streak, the late winners who turned draws into wins, the inevitable feeling that somehow Celtic would score, it all faded away and the idea that it could all come back in one moment turned out to be wrong.

Like Howe’s Bournemouth, the ability of the players was never questioned given what they had achieved in previous years.

The reasons for their surrender have been analyzed to death, with much of the blame being placed on Lennon and his coaching staff.

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But the important thing now is the club’s recovery and Howe, although he has never set foot in Lennoxtown, is perhaps more familiar with the Celtic squad’s woes than it seems at First on board.

The alarm bells rang from the start at Parkhead this season.

Many pointed to the shocking Champions League qualifying loss to Ferencvaros and what followed as it became clear that all was not going well.

Not only did Celtic crash with a whimper, but Lennon’s post-match volley against some of his seemingly absent players made it look like all was not going well behind the scenes.

The fact that none of those anonymous agitators then left the club before the transfer deadline was another matter of surprise.

Howe described dealing with these issues as a “cohesive battle,” insisting that the hardest part of managing was keeping a large team of players all pulling in the same direction.

He said: “The constant battle you face is to motivate your team, the 25 players on your team. Play for the team, not play for themselves, keep them with the same idea as the team. must win at all costs.

“It’s a tough balance, every player on this team has their own dreams, goals, ambitions, motivations, and then you have outside influences, the media, the agents, it’s tough.




“But it exists every day, even on a Sunday when you might not be with the players. Your mind is with the players every day – are they okay, is there something something I can do to help them? With your staff too, in this constant battle for improvement.

“We had that, that everyone’s thirst for improvement, and that has served us well.”

This is the team dynamic at Celtic, it is a crucial lesson for any potential boss to learn.

The club’s transfer model has focused on signing and developing young talent, giving them a platform to win trophies and challenges for European football before sanctioning a big move when the time is right.

Virgil van Dijk and Moussa Dembele were two such examples, and Odsonne Edouard looks increasingly likely to be next.

Howe’s understanding of managing player ambitions with team ambitions is a wise observation particularly relevant to Parkhead.

It’s a difficult balance to maintain given, as he points out, that outside influences and rapidly changing circumstances are always present.

Who will be Celtic’s next manager remains a mystery at the moment, but Howe’s reflection on the end of his Bournemouth suggests he has learned key lessons that also apply to anyone who takes the reins at Parkhead.

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