'Ticks a lot of boxes' – Our writers' verdict on Eddie Howe's imminent appointment as Newcastle United boss
The appointment of Eddie Howe as Newcastle United boss is imminent.
The Bournemouth legend sat alongside co-owner Amanda Staveley in the stands at the Amex Stadium as the Magpies drew 1-1 with Brighton and Hove Albion.
Howe’s arrival is expected to be announced very soon, where he will have the two-week international break to work with his new squad ahead of hosting Brentford at St James’s Park.
Here, our writers Miles Starforth and Jordan Cronin answer the key questions surrounding Howe’s appointment:
What do you make of Eddie Howe’s appointment at Newcastle United?
MS: “I doubt Howe will have been the first choice of many fans following the departure of Steve Bruce. Many supporters were keener on some of the bigger names mentioned, notably Unai Emery, Lucien Favre and Paulo Fonseca. That said, Howe still ticks a lot of boxes. He did a phenomenal job at Bournemouth on a tight budget, and he’s backed himself to transform Newcastle, over time, with a far bigger budget.”
JC: “An interesting one. Howe clearly wasn’t the first choice – the Emery saga proved that – but take nothing away from him. He impressed the club’s owners with a thorough interview, going into specific about the team. It might not be the big name Newcastle fans hoped for after a billionaire takeover, but this is a slow process. It’s worth remembering that this time last month, fans would have loved Howe to replace Bruce.”
Do you believe Eddie Howe is the right fit for Newcastle United?
MS: “There are no guarantees in football, and only time will tell whether Howe is the right man to take the club forward over the coming years, but the appointment has been welcomed by most fans, and he looks to be a good fit for the club given his footballing philosophy and tactical acumen. Howe has had a lot of offers since leaving Bournemouth last year, but he’s waited for the right job. Certainly, he won’t get a better opportunity to progress his managerial career, despite the immediate challenges facing the club.”
JC: “Time will tell, but he does tick a lot of boxes. Yes, his unbelievable journey at Bournemouth ended in relegation but a club of their size punched well above their weight for five consecutive top-flight seasons. If he can get it right in the short term, then he’ll no doubt relish the exciting project that is ahead. That’s the pressure, and that’s the worry, that he must hit the ground running to ensure survival is secured. If he can do that, then he’s more than proved his capability of building a long-term project.”
Do you expect Eddie Howe’s appointment to inspire an instant upturn in form?
MS: “Howe needs time. Yes, it would be great if he can get early wins on the board, but there’s a lot to put right at the club, on and off the pitch, and given next month’s tough fixtures, things could get worse before they get better.”
JC: “Sadly, because of the mess left by Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce, he has to. Every new manager needs time but Howe can’t afford too much – the club is already six points from safety. Hopefully, having worked with Callum Wilson, Matt Ritchie and Ryan Fraser already, the squad will respond and grasp his ideas swiftly.”
Can Eddie Howe keep Newcastle United in the Premier League?
MS: “I think he has every chance of keeping the club in the Premier League given the backing he will get from the club’s owners – and fans. Howe will bring a vision, and an incredible work ethic, to one of the toughest jobs in English football, and hopefully everyone can get behind him. The takeover has reunited the club, and this new-found unity, hopefully, can propel the team up the table.”
JC: “That’s the challenge. And a very big one at that. He’s got the experience and already has support from parts of the dressing room. I’ve always been confident that, with the right appointment, Newcastle will get out of trouble. The owners have done their due diligence on Howe, hence the long wait, so I trust they’ve found a strong candidate.”
Even if Newcastle United were to be relegated, can you see the club sticking with Eddie Howe?
MS: “That’s a big “if”, and I wouldn’t want to look that far ahead. Yes, Howe knows the Championship - and what it takes a team to get promoted - but he’s been brought to the club to take the team forward in the Premier League. The club’s situation is worrying, but this is far from a lost cause. There’s still everything to play for this season.”
JC: “Howe’s two-and-a-half-year contract suggests he would stay if disaster does indeed strike. He’s got four promotions on his CV, which is hugely encouraging. However, with 27 games left to play, the prospect of Championship football will not have been spoken about yet.”