It seems like ancient history now but there was a point in 2021 when Eddie Howe seemed destined to become the Celtic manager. He was without a club and the Hoops needed someone to bring things back on track after the disappointing 2020/21 campaign. But ultimately, the Englishman decided not to head to Glasgow.
Celtic needed to make a quick decision when it became clear that Howe would not be taking the Parkhead job. And the Hoops ended up appointing Ange Postecoglou.
The Australian was the Yokohama F. Marinos manager at that point and not many Scottish football fans knew much about him. Unsurprisingly, he was written off before he had even arrived and many predicted Postecoglou would be gone by Christmas.
Over his two seasons at Celtic, Postecoglou went on to win five trophies, exceeding the expectations of even the most optimistic fans. And in the summer, he joined Tottenham Hotspur merely days after winning the domestic treble with the Hoops.
Postecoglou sends Celtic message to Howe
In hindsight, it is safe to say that Howe turning down the chance to manage Celtic proved to be good for the club. It is hard to imagine that he would have done a better job than Postecoglou.
One has to wonder how different things would have been if Howe had become the Celtic manager. As reported by Sky Sports, when asked about it, Postecoglou said:
"There's probably been no bigger decision in me being here today than Eddie knocking back the Celtic job. So, I have not thanked him but I probably should."
It could very well have been a tongue-in-cheek comment from Postecoglou but there is certainly a lot of truth to it as well. If Howe had accepted the Celtic job then it is hard to imagine things going so brilliantly for the Australian.
Make no mistake, Postecoglou is being considered amongst the best managers in the game because he has earned it. But at the same time, life is all about opportunities. If the chance to manage Celtic does not come in 2021, would he have ended up at a club in Europe where he could compete for and win trophies as he did at Parkhead?