A year is not a particularly long time in football. It was only on October 7, 2021 that Newcastle United’s takeover was officially confirmed. Steve Bruce’s immediate future was in doubt after a 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux; with the Toon sat in 19th place.
Eddie Howe Proving His Worth One Year on From Newcastle United Appointment
Eddie Howe has been shortlisted for the @premierleague Manager of the Month award after an incredible October!
Congrats, gaffer! ⚫️⚪️
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) November 3, 2022
Sensational Newcastle United Turn of Events
Various candidates were considered by the Newcastle United hierarchy to replace him. Questions were raised over whether Steven Gerrard, then at Rangers, or even Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City could be tempted to Tyneside. Lucien Favre was out of work. As was Antonio Conte. So too Paulo Fonseca.
Fast forward nearly 13 months, and Toon fans can rest easy with the board’s decision. Eddie Howe, who was also unattached alongside these other elite managers, has guided Newcastle to 4th place after 13 games of the 2022/23 season with his side comfortably beating an Aston Villa side who have just filled their own managerial vacancy with former Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
The Spaniard was also reportedly considered by those in charge on Tyneside. However, after the weekend’s heavy defeat to Howe’s side, it appears as though he has a big job on his hands to transform Villa’s fortunes.
Funny that Emery, Gerrard and Rodgers would likely all kill for the Newcastle job now.
Newcastle are now enjoying their best start to a Premier League season for over a decade. They boast the highest points total in the division for October (16), and Eddie Howe has re-established himself as one of the most in-demand young managers in Britain.
Rejecting the chance to work for Celtic appears justified for the 44-year-old, having so far worked wonders on Tyneside. Their weekend opponents had just battered Brentford 4-0 in what was a much-needed morale-boosting win.
Aston Villa Battering Sums up Howe Tenure
The quartet of goal scorers on Saturday sums up Eddie Howe’s Toon tenure so far.
If Howe was to pick a subject for TV show Mastermind, it would probably be on Callum Wilson. Howe knows plenty about the talented forward having previously brought him to Bournemouth from Coventry City. Harry Kane and Ivan Toney are the only Englishmen to have scored more Premier League goals this season, with Wilson finding the net a total of six times in nine appearances this term for the Magpies. Now is the time to hit form given Gareth Southgate is looking to form his Qatar World Cup squad list.
Joelinton looks like a different player than the one signed from Hoffenheim for a then club-record fee. Howe gave him a chance in the middle of the park last year, which has worked wonders for his confidence. He’s been filling in recently on the left hand side of an attacking trio, not looking out of place whatsoever.
Miguel Almiron was another who came with a big price tag and huge pressure on his shoulders after joining from Atlanta United. There’s no way he’d even attempt his weekend wondergoal a few seasons back. Almiron has the Midas touch at present, deserving of October’s Premier League Player of the Month.
6️⃣ goals in 6️⃣ games
🔥 Miguel Almirón 🔥 pic.twitter.com/eYhrCS4BV6
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 29, 2022
Allan Saint-Maximin was sat amongst the substitutes on Saturday, making an 86th minute cameo. Whilst he’s a top player, his absence hasn’t been felt as much as it would’ve perhaps a year ago. That is testament to the current form the Magpies are in, that the Frenchman hasn’t appeared a massive miss.
You can look towards the signings of Kieran Trippier, Bruno Guimarães and Alexander Isak and say that it’s been easy for Newcastle to ascend up the Premier League table. To an extent, that is true. In the modern day, you can’t compete without a sound financial backing.
How Newcastle United’s Overlooked Candidates Are Faring
It’s fair to say that it has been a struggling time for those once linked with a move to Tyneside. Gerrard was sacked by Villa after moving on from Rangers; meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers is still under pressure at Leicester with the Foxes a facing a climb out of the bottom three.
Lucien Favre’s Nice currently sit mid-table of Ligue 1. Paulo Fonseca and Antonio Conte’s respective Lille and Tottenham are both in contention for European football in their leagues. But their clubs have been largely used to that in recent seasons.
What can’t be disputed is the improvement in players that were at St James’ Park the minute that Eddie Howe came through the door. That’s what made him the perfect choice that the club’s hierarchy got correct.
There’s been pressure to oversee this project and try to deliver European football.
He’s done so admirably and his stock is back at a high level. With the checkbook to be broken out again, alongside the prospect of European football of some description, it’s an exciting time on Tyneside.
Eddie Howe on current form:
"It is everything to us. We give everything as a coaching team and as players to win. That is our objective every week so when you're able to achieve that there's a feeling of satisfaction, albeit for me a brief one before we focus on the next one." pic.twitter.com/pshKJ99e1q
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 28, 2022