Eddie Howe makes Premier League history – Absolutely outstanding
Eddie Howe – Premier League manager of the year?
Well, he won’t pick up that award, but I think he should.
It is easy for some to forget but not me.
Just think back to what an absolutely wreck Eddie Howe inherited thanks to the joint efforts of Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce.
Put it this way, if that pair were still at Newcastle United we would 100% be already a Championship team, with not a chance of surviving this season.
Heading into December 2021, Eddie Howe still trying to get to the bottom of this Newcastle United squad, so many weaknesses and an almost complete absence of quality players.
This is how the Premier League table looked on 1 December 2021 (table via Transfermarkt):
It wasn’t a case of whether Newcastle United were going down, it was simply a case of when that point would be tipped this season?
No team has ever survived after failing to win any of their first 14 Premier League games.
There was bravado but I think as Newcastle fans we had all accepted, deep down, that Mike Ashley had doomed us to a third relegation in the 13 Premier League seasons we had kicked off with him in charge.
Now 17 Premier League matches later, this is how the table looks on Saturday (9 April 2022) morning:
It is only now five months and a day since Eddie Howe was appointed and it is truly staggering what he has done with this group of players.
The last 17 matches show Won 8 Drawn 3 Lost 6 with 27 points gained at an average of 1.59 points per game.
Over the course of 38 games that works out at 60 points, top eight form, sometimes enough to make top six.
Eddie Howe has been a miracle worker and will now become the first Premier League boss to lead his club to safety after they had failed to win any of their first 14 games. He won’t say that yet of course but last night’s win over Wolves has effectively ensured safety for Newcastle United and a place for Eddie Howe in the record books.
Our enemies will say Newcastle United bought survival, which is simply laughable, the spending in January was only money that should have been spent in the previous transfer windows that Mike Ashley refused to do so.
Anyway, everybody mocked Eddie Howe for signing last night’s match winner Chris Wood, nobody was saying that loan deal Matt Targett and £13m for Dan Burn were great deals. Kieran Trippier only played three full PL matches before injury, half the January money was spent on the longer-term signing of Bruno Guimaraes and Eddie Howe only thought he was ready for his first home start last night.
Instead, it is the remarkable job that Eddie Howe has done on the players who were already here when he took over, players who the vast majority of the journalists and pundits said were so poor, that it was impossible for Steve Bruce to do any better with them. Just remember that.
Yet Eddie Howe has made them all fitter, better, focused, committed, you name it.
Fraser, Schar, Willock, Dubravka, Shelvey, even Krafth…all of them playing at a completely different level than under Steve Bruce. Plus of course the most remarkable of all, Joelinton. A player who Bruce simply didn’t have a clue what to do with.
Eddie Howe saved Bournemouth from non-league, got promotion from League Two, won promotion from League One, hot promotion from the Championship, had minnows Bournemouth (10k capacity stadium) in the Premier League for five seasons, now he has saved Newcastle United from what looked certain relegation from the Premier League.
Best thing of all, Eddie Howe is still only 44 (FORTY FOUR) he has achieved all of the above and yet his best years are still ahead of him.
He admits he is still learning and indeed between jobs, he went off to various clubs home and abroad, expanding his knowledge and experience from others.
Our enemies laughed and said Eddie Howe didn’t have a clue about the defensive side, totally naive they said. These last four months have seen Newcastle United play 13 Premier League matches and leaving aside that one-off at Tottenham, the other 12 PL games have seen only eight goals conceded, with four clean sheets and only a single goal conceded in each of the other eight.
Eddie Howe may not win that Premier League manager of the season award that he deserves but what he has won is the admiration and respect of the Newcastle United fanbase, I think I know which of these Howe himself will value more.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Wolves 0– Friday 8 April 8pm
Wood 72 (pen)
Half-time stats in brackets.
Possession was Wolves 59% (50%) Newcastle 41% (50%)
Total shots were Wolves 5 (1) Newcastle 12 (5)
Shots on target were Wolves 2 (0) Newcastle 4 (0)
Corners were Wolves 2 (0) Newcastle 1 (0)
Referee: Peter Bankes
Crowd: 52,164 (3,000 Wolves)
Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett, Shelvey, Guimaraes (Longstaff 88), Joelinton, Fraser (Almiron 13), Saint-Maximin (Murphy 90+5), Wood
Darlow, Dummett, Gayle, Ritchie, Manquillo, Lascelles
(Newcastle 1 Wolves 0 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)
(Wolves boss admits Newcastle United deserved their victory as European hopes shattered – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Wolves 0 – The three big points that I’m taking from the match – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Wolves 0 – Instant NUFC fan / writer reaction to Friday night victory – Read HERE)
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]