Eddie Howe was generous about Celtic when asked during the press conference announcing him as Newcastle manager. In his view, he was unable to take on the task of managing such a club without his regular backroom staff, whom he was unable to convince to move to Glasgow. This was the reason he gave Celtic when rejecting them in May, although I was sceptical then.
Compare that to our own Ange Postecoglou, who accepted the job with nothing more than a list of names detailing those he would work with at Celtic. He knew none of them. The contrast could hardly be starker.
Six months later it is easy to forget what shape the club was in when Ange arrived. A threadbare squad, minus the want-aways, a new CEO in his first job in football with zero on-the-ground experience of European football. Eddie Howe didn’t have the self-belief that Ange has, but Eddie was right to doubt the job could be done with anything less than the A Team.
Newcastle may have all the money the sovereign investment fund of Saudi Arabia can put their hands on, but spending it effectively in January, tempting transformative players into a club marooned at the bottom of the table, will take more than a jab in the arm before bundling them onto a plane bound for Newcastle.
No bad blood with Eddie, he made the right decision, right for him, right for Celtic, although maybe not right for Newcastle, who failed to lift themselves off the foot of the table last night because of a late equaliser from our old pal Teemu Pukki.
I know what you are thinking. Hibs bounced Newco out of the League Cup a week ago, can they repeat the result in the league at Easter Road tonight? Before a win over 10-man St Johnstone on Saturday, that Hampden result was the only time they avoided defeat in six outings. They are a poor team, dare we expect anything……..?