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Opinion

‘A massive learning curve…I now believe that I have done Eddie Howe a disservice’

3 weeks ago
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Well it all sounded too good to be true, didn’t it?

Serial trophy winner Unai Emery giving up Villarreal’s Champions League adventure, for a punt at Newcastle United and a relegation scrap.

Emery would have been an exciting appointment and welcomed with all of the goodwill in the world by the Geordies, but alas, that ship has sailed, so we have to move on.

The euphoria of four weeks ago has been tempered temporarily but I believe this is a good time for the supporters to reflect and take stock of the new owners’ predicament.

The Newcastle United takeover when it eventually happened took everyone from the fans to the media by complete surprise.

I would like to think that the last month has been a massive learning curve for both owners and the fanbase.

In hindsight, Steve Bruce should have been sacked before the first game under the new regime against Spurs. It was obvious that the club were wallowing in mediocrity and that a fresh broom was required to deliver a statement of intent.

When the axe belatedly fell on Bruce, the owners decided to entrust Graeme Jones with leading the team at Crystal Palace in our next game, as the search for a new manager got underway.

That was fair enough at the time as the team picked up a lucky point but by now the natives were getting restless.

The Chelsea capitulation last weekend finally confirmed that Jones is way out of his depth as a head coach and that our team are in drastic need of a new man at the helm.

I know the new owners will be trying to bring the best possible manager in, although some might say the events over the last couple of weeks have shown their naivety.

Even though they are new to the football world, I believe they will have been seeking sound advice about the fundamentals in setting up a structure that will benefit us in the long term.

However, in the short term, the next managerial appointment is of the utmost importance and this is where yours truly is beginning to have a change of heart.

Last week I thought that Paolo Fonseca could be the new man and by all accounts (if you believe them), he seemed ready for the challenge. Lucien Favre was another who couldn’t be sniffed at.

Now after Emery’s knockback, Eddie Howe is the new bookies favourite.

Going back just over four weeks ago, most Toon fans would have snapped your hand off to have got rid of Bruce and replaced him with Eddie Howe.

This is where we all have to take a reality check. The events of the 7th of October 2021 changed the dynamic and focus of the majority of our fanbase (me included).

So when Eddie Howe reappeared on the radar this week I felt extremely underwhelmed and maybe even disappointed.

Liking to think of myself as a pragmatist and having had a little time to contemplate, I now believe that I have done Eddie Howe a disservice.

My abiding memory had been of him leaving Bournemouth after relegation in 2020…

After establishing the Cherries in the Premier League, a turn in fortune put them in a relegation fight that was finally completed via a massive mistake by VAR (going down by only a point on the final day of the season).

Eddie Howe and Bournemouth were robbed of their place in the Premiership for a sixth season…of that there is no doubt.

After this massive disappointment he decided that he had taken the club as far as he could and honourably walked (unlike some others I could mention).

Unlike Bruce (oops)…. Eddie Howe likes to play progressive football on the front foot. He was instrumental in the development of Callum Wilson and we also have a couple of others that he knows well, who we could do with him getting a tune out of at the minute.

He was allowed to spend at Bournemouth and brought in the likes of Nathan Ake, proving that he has a shrewd eye for a player.

So where am I at, I hear you all sigh?

Well if it is Eddie Howe who the new owners turn to, I hope that we will all give him our sincere and undivided support, just as we would have done if we had of appointed one of the more exotic foreign managers.

I have an old 45 single from my dad’s collection by the Tornados bassist Heinz. Some of the older lads on here will know it – it’s called “Just like Eddie”…..

Well if Eddie’s the kid, I intend to.

We are all in this together, the journey has only just begun and patience is required.

Onwards and upwards because we will get where we want to be if we stay United.

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