Eddie Howe has been appointed as Newcastle United manager, with the English coached signing a two-and-a-half year deal to lead the Magpies.
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Howe, 43, has been out of work since the summer of 2020 when he left Bournemouth following their relegation from the Premier League.
The former Bournemouth defender led them from League Two to the Premier League and kept them in the top-flight for five seasons before their sudden relegation.
Over the last 12 months Eddie Howe almost took over at Celtic and had been linked with plenty of other jobs, but he’s the man the new Saudi Arabian-led ownership group have chosen to be their first manager at Newcastle.
What did Howe say?
“It is a great honor to become head coach of a club with the stature and history of Newcastle United. It is a very proud day for me and my family,” Howe said. “This is a wonderful opportunity, but there is also a lot of work ahead of us and I am eager to get onto the training ground to start working with the players.
“I would like to thank the club’s owners for this opportunity and thank the club’s supporters for the incredible welcome they have already given me. I am very excited to begin our journey together.”
After missing out on bringing Unai Emery to St James’ Park, Howe was always the more realistic target for the Newcastle board.
Newcastle co-owner Amanda Staveley praised Howe as a ‘passionate and dynamic coach who has clear ideas about taking this team and club forward’ and added that he is ‘a great fit for what we are trying to build here.’
What are the expectations?
First and foremost, Howe has to keep Newcastle United in the Premier League.
His reputation as a coach who loves to play attractive, attacking football is one thing, but he must get results. It really is that simple.
Newcastle sit in the bottom three and are five points from safety after 11 games of the season and Howe’s first five games are against Brentford, Arsenal, Norwich, Burnley and Leicester.
Anything less than three wins from those five would spell big trouble, as they then face four very tough fixtures (Liverpool, Man City, Man United and Everton) around the festive season.
Long-term, Howe will hope he is the man to spend the vast sums of money that Newcastle’s new owners possess but most believe he is a good short-term appointment who can steady the ship before a superstar manager, and players, arrive.
How will Newcastle look?
Howe has already worked with Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Matt Ritchie at Bournemouth, so he knows plenty of the Newcastle squad well and this should help his ideas get across quicker.
This appointment will signify a whole new style of play for Bournemouth and whether or not their defensive players can handle the possession-based style is a huge question mark.
Howe’s system is based on central defenders stepping out of the back line and into midfield, while central midfield players most be comfortable on the ball and able to switch play to speedy attackers.
Newcastle definitely have the attacking players that Howe needs (Wilson, Almiron and Saint-Maximin will suit his style of play well), but they need to bring in plenty of new midfielders and defenders to carry out his style of play with any success.
The main thing Howe has to do is get Newcastle in a better position by January 1. If they are out of the bottom three by then, the Magpies’ new ownership group can hit the transfer market hard and reinforce the squad.
There is a lot of pressure on Eddie Howe as he worked wonders at Bournemouth but this is a big step up.