Eddie Howe shouldn’t get comfortable in the Newcastle dugout

Eddie Howe, Manager of AFC Bournemouth (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Eddie Howe, Manager of AFC Bournemouth (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) /

Over a week ago, all signs pointed towards the appointment of Villarreal’s Unai Emery as Newcastle’s next manager. Emery guided Villareal to Europa League glory last season. Despite their riches, Newcastle could not land the former Arsenal manager, opting for Eddie Howe instead.

The decision to pursue Emery signals Newcastle’s ambition to win silverware, something the newly-appointed manager has not tasted. Howe arrives at St James’ Park with his assistant Jason Tindall.

The former Bournemouth manager’s primary target is to lift his new team out of the relegation zone, which there are five points shy of. Howe has a winning record of 230 wins in 544 games.

"We have been incredibly impressed by Eddie through what has been a rigorous recruitment process. As well as his obvious achievements with AFC Bournemouth, where he had a transformational impact, he is a passionate and dynamic coach who has clear ideas about taking this team and club forward. Newcastle co-owner Amanda Staley, via transfermartkt.com"

Fixing Newcastle United’s problems starts at home to Brentford

The international break gives Howe time to assess his squad and prepare for Newcastle’s next match. The Magpies are the only team in the Premier League without a win, and they have the second-worst goal difference.

Newcastle’s next fixture against Brentford gives them a good chance of breaking their winless streak because Thomas Frank’s team have lost four straight games.

One of Howe’s challenges lies with the players. He must re-tune the squad into believing they can win football matches. Things can’t get much worse than they did under the negative football of Steve Bruce. It bemuses me to see teams trying to play defensively in the 21st century.

Howe must take the shackles of his players and allow them to get forward and create chances. Per the official Premier League website, Norwich City are the only side to have had fewer shots on target than Newcastle (32).

Eddie Howe needs to get the best out of his Magpies

Under Bruce, Newcastle allowed the opposition to dictate the game. Changing the culture at St James’ Park will not happen overnight. The new manager better get his Christmas shopping list to the club’s board, because they need potent strikers and creative players able to provide the ammunition to score goals.

There are familiar faces to Howe in the Newcastle dressing room. Matt Ritcher, Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson played under Howe at Bournemouth. The Newcastle manager has got an uphill battle on his hands, but he did an excellent job at Bournemouth with finite resources.

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The pressure is on Howe because if the board doesn’t like what they see, his tenure could be a short one on the Tyneside.