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Opinion

Eddie Howe Newcastle United Training Revolution

3 weeks ago
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Our new head coach Eddie Howe has a reputation for being meticulous and rigorous in his approach.

From the video released by the club on Monday of his first Newcastle United training session, we can already see his philosophy in action.

The video begins with the players doing a bleep test…

Anyone who remembers doing this at school PE lessons, will know this is an intensive test of fitness where you must run a distance between a series of audible bleeps that get closer together as you go up a level.

This certainly must have been a wake-up call to some of the players (not naming any names…) that so often look off the pace during matches and are used to regular days off.

We then see some of Eddie’s actions on the Newcastle United training pitch.

“OK, here we go, this one, different – it’s gonna go straight to the wide man”

Quite depressing that a manager talking about tactics with his players counts as a refreshing change, but it’s exciting as a fan to see that finally we have someone in charge who thinks more deeply than just ‘having a go’.

“Nice Jonjo, what a pass!”

We know that Shelvey can pick out a beautiful pass and on his day can be a real threat. We are really lacking creativity in midfield at the moment and though he’s not a popular player with many fans because they see a lack of pace and work rate, there is clearly a talented player in there. Hopefully Eddie can get him playing at his best, otherwise his long term future at the club doesn’t look good.

“It’s not a criticism, it’s just a different type of training”

When looking back on videos of training under the previous manager, his voice was barely heard and he often seemed to just be standing around observing. Eddie is already getting involved, shouting instructions and even showing by example with running and ball work.

“Stood still’s no good, you’ve got to create the space”

There’s not much to add to this one, other than the fact it’s gobsmacking that Premier League players need to be told this.

“That’s Cal’s finish, not the best, but OK!”

Eddie has worked with Callum Wilson before and obviously has a good relationship with him, giving him some constructive criticism in a cheeky fashion. Wilson is a top striker and a good finisher, but Eddie won’t let him rest on his laurels and is willing to push him to become even better. This is a great sign of his attitude towards working with and developing players.

“So this recovery run, it’s not a jog, it’s a sprint”

Another sign of the possession focused style of play that Eddie used with Bournemouth and has spoken about bringing to Newcastle. Too often in recent years, our players have lost possession cheaply and have been outmatched by the opposition, who go on to create a goalscoring opportunity. Eddie has clearly seen this as one of our biggest weaknesses defensively.

While many of these should really be considered the bare minimum for a Premier League club, the difference between what came before is like night and day. Eddie Howe is a hard worker and if he can get the effort back from his new players, we certainly have a good chance of staying up.

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