Eddie Howe ‘got stage fright’ before his talks with Celtic broke down, Hoops legend Chris Sutton has claimed in his Daily Record column.
Former Bournemouth boss Howe held talks over the vacant manager’s role in March and remained Celtic’s number-one choice up to the end of May, when the move collapsed (via Sky Sports).
The Englishman ultimately rejected the club’s overtures, with suggestions that the composition of his backroom team was a source of disagreement.
Celtic then moved to appoint Yokohama F Marinos boss Ange Postecoglou as Neil Lennon’s long-term successor.
Howe continues to bide his time after leaving Bournemouth at the end of the 2019/20 season following their relegation from the Premier League.
Sutton hailed the ‘bravery’ of Postecoglou after he agreed to take charge despite his lack of experience in European football.
And he also fired a parting shot at Howe, whom he accused of leaving Celtic ‘high and dry’.
“What I would say is fair play to Postecoglou,” Sutton, who played for the club between 2000 and 2006, wrote.
“I admire the guy for being brave enough to take this job.
“The likes of Eddie Howe got stage fright and ran away, leaving Celtic high and dry.”
It might well have been down to the backroom team or another dispute, but equally, you can see why Howe may have daunted by the task.
Celtic finished 25 points behind their unbeaten arch-rivals Rangers, and their squad is in need of an overhaul this summer.
And on top of that, supporters who have become so used to domestic success (Celtic had won nine titles in a row before Rangers halted their run) are unlikely to afford a manager much patience in a lengthy period of transition.
Perhaps Howe will want to walk into a more comfortable set of circumstances, or a club without such a remarkable expectation for domestic dominance, such as manageress Crystal Palace, who have been linked with the former Cherries man as well.
In other news, this Celtic midfielder looks to be on his way.
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