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Opinion

With these 4 new 2022 first choice Newcastle United players any reason why can’t Eddie Howe excel?

2 weeks ago
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The Newcastle United players will report back for pre-season in only 16 days time.

On Friday 1 July the NUFC first team squad getting back together to ready themselves for the new season, which at that point will be only five weeks away (weekend of Saturday 6 August).

Of course, once the official transfer window opened last Friday (10 June) it automatically triggers heightened interest in terms of possible incomings.

With Matt Targett revealed as a permanent signing a couple of days before that official window opening AND deals for Hugo Ekitike and Sven Botman already having been worked on for some time, it is clear that Eddie Howe and the Newcastle United owners aren’t messing about.

They absolutely intend to do everything they can, within reason, to progress and improve this current NUFC squad.

However, unlike many other fans, I am really relaxed about the current situation.

I hear people talking as if it would be a disaster if ‘these signings’ aren’t made this summer.

For me though, I am just seeing any new player brought in as a bonus on top of what is already a very good situation.

I would ask you the question…’With these four new 2022 first choice Newcastle United players any reason why can’t Eddie Howe excel?’

My point is, this is already a very different Newcastle United team under Eddie Howe, to what we saw under Steve Bruce.

Yes, Howe has of course massively improved so many of the pre-existing Newcastle United players BUT it is easy to forget that in 2022 we have already seen four new first choice players transform our situation.

Kieran Trippier, Dan Burn, Matt Targett and Bruno Guimaraes (Chris Wood did a great job but he was always going to then be a squad / back up player for the following season) are all 100% guaranteed starters in any Newcastle fan’s team to kick off the season, helping to make it a team totally unrecognisable to the one that we watched previously.

This is how the final 2021/22 Premier League table finished up:

Premier League Table 22 May 2022

Eddie Howe overseeing an astonishing 38 points in the second half of the season, averaging exactly 2.00 points per match in the final 19 PL games. An average which over the course of a full season would give you 76 points, enough for third in the table last season and actually second in 2020/21. In the first half of last season, Newcastle picked up only 11 points in the 19 games, averaging only 0.57 points per match. An average which over the course of the season would give you 22 points and guaranteed relegation. Talk about the highs and lows of following this stupid football club!

It has been laughable how our enemies (journalists, pundits, rival fans…) have tried to downplay Eddie Howe’s achievements, claiming it is only down to spending the money in January.

That of course helped BUT funny how they don’t like to mention that the second half revival was achieved despite Trippier and Wilson only playing a handful of matches between them.

The team’s consistency and discipline and commitment and willing to play and fight for each other, were outstanding under Eddie Howe in 2022 and I can’t see any reason why this won’t continue. With Wilson and Trippier now back fully fit, then added to Targett, Guimaraes and Burn, we literally have half a new team of outfield players compared to the situation after Wilson picked up that injury on 27 December 2021 against Man Utd.

If you look at that final Premier League table above, the second half of the season produced an absolutely remarkable set of stats. If you look at those clubs who finished outside the top six, who also happen to be the clubs that aren’t the ‘big six’…Newcastle played all 13 of them (Everton twice) and beat them all, with the exception of West Ham and Watford, who NUFC got draws against and should have beaten them in those second half of the season matches (Newcastle both beat and lost to Everton – the latter a game that they very definitely shouldn’t have lost).

Half a season of results isn’t a freak run, that is solid form that could potentially be repeated, especially against the teams that pretty much everybody accepts we are potentially capable of beating.

There is plenty of evidence to show that clubs who end one season well, often do very well the next.

Not saying we are going to repeat their feat but Leicester were shocking and surefire relegation candidates in 2014//15, winning only four of 29 games, before winning seven and drawing one of the final nine. That squad the backbone of the title winning team the next season.

The previous year Newcastle United only signed Joe Willock and now he is struggling to get in any fan’s starting eleven first choice, such is the competition compared to only months ago.

A team that all already know each other and who had such great form so far in 2022, I am confident they can do very well this season. Though all additional bonus help from new summer signings, very welcome as well,

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