Eddie Howe has transformed the fortunes of Newcastle United on the field so much so that the club are almost odds-on to secure a Champions League berth for the first time in 19 years. There are online offers available to back the Magpies to finish top four in the Premier League, and it would be a remarkable turnaround for a club that was seemingly on the brink of relegation back to the Championship before the takeover by PIF and the arrival of Howe.
Although Newcastle have undoubtedly spent a considerable amount in the transfer market, they’re not the first club to have profited from a takeover. But, unlike other sides such as Everton, their moves have been on point and the manager has performed exceptionally well to improve the existing players in the squad.
Howe has enhanced his reputation that was in the mire before his arrival at Newcastle, and he was even the butt of a joke made by his predecessor Steve Bruce. It’s fair to say that Howe has made Bruce look incredibly foolish indeed, and is even showing up other managers across the Premier League.
When Howe arrived at Newcastle he inherited a squad that was low on confidence and hurtling towards the Championship. After a sticky start, he managed to find the right blend on the field along with savvy purchases to steady the ship and steer the club into the safety of mid-table.
One of the key decisions was to move Brazilian Joelinton back from the final third into the heart of the midfield. Joelinton was a £40m purchase under Bruce and Mike Ashley but was not suited to his role in the attacking third of the pitch.
Howe spotted that he could deploy the Brazilian in the middle of the park as a defensive midfielder. Joelinton has not looked back since and has flourished in the position. He is combative and is not afraid of a challenge, and it has even allowed him to relax when in goalscoring positions without the pressure of having to find the net on a consistent basis.
Joelinton is not the only one. Miguel Almiron has been a sensation in the 2022/23 season, scoring goals for run and creating others.
Almiron used the chip on his shoulder after being derided by Jack Grealish and has put the England man to shame with his brilliance in front of goal. Joe Willock and Sean Longstaff have found a strong level of consistency in the midfield, so much so, that the duo are pushing for England calls.
At the other end of the pitch, Fabian Schar has developed into one of the best defenders in the Premier League. The signings have also been key with Bruno Guimaraes and Kieran Trippier offering reassurance and quality on the ball. But, the rest is down to the excellence of Howe’s coaching to allow his players to thrive at St James’ Park.
Howe has made 90% of the managers in the Premier League look incredibly bad. It starts with Bruce, who could not get a performance out of Joelinton or Almiron during his time at the club. Newcastle were nowhere near the relegation candidates that Bruce made in the early stages of the 2021/22 season.
It’s not only Bruce as several other managers have whinged about the talent available rather than improving the players in their squads.
Antonio Conte berated his players during his time at Spurs, but did very little to improve the quality produced by individuals on the pitch. Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter, Steven Gerrard, David Moyes, Brendan Rodgers, Frank Lampard and Bruno Lage are managers that been in charge of clubs arguably bigger than the Magpies or very similar in stature but have failed to get the best out of their players on the field.
Gerrard is a standout example at Aston Villa, and has been shown up by Unai Emery’s arrival. It proves that having the right manager can make all the difference for clubs. Rather than bleating about what you don’t have, work with what you do.
Howe’s attitude has allowed his players to flourish at St James’ Park and the Magpies are reaping the rewards.