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Opinion

If you believe this from Eddie Howe then you will believe anything

2 months ago
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Eddie Howe has been talking to the media.

The Newcastle United Head Coach doing his press conference for the Liverpool game.

Eddie Howe of course not just asked about this match.

The NUFC boss also asked about the January 2024 transfer window that opens in a few days time:

“January is always a difficult month [for signing players]

“We haven’t had those assurances about [January transfer] funds.

“I apologise if I sound like I’m saying the same things… but it is a very difficult month to bring in quality players.

“Financial Fair Play continues to play a part in our decision making, so let’s wait and see.”

After saying the above, the media full of the same / similar headlines…

‘Eddie Howe says no guarantee of January transfer funds’

‘Worrying January transfer update from Eddie Howe’

‘No assurances from Saudi owners on January transfer funds’

And so on.

When will they ever learn?

Eddie Howe misleads the media time and time again these past couple of years about who is / isn’t available for the next match.

For the best possible reasons, keeping the opposition guessing.

Whilst each transfer window so far, Eddie Howe repeatedly misdirecting journalists, who have very short memories and / or who too lazy to do any proper analysis.

What exactly would the Newcastle United Head Coach have to gain from telling the media anything, either about the funds that are available, or the targets he wants to sign?

This type of questioning is meaningless, certainly when they are asking Eddie Howe.

Just look at this summer when Newcastle United were over in the United States in July. Eddie Howe asked at a press conference about potential incoming transfers, the Head Coach saying no potential deals remotely close. Yet at that exact same moment, Harvey Barnes was on a plane flying from the UK to join the NUFC squad, having agreed to sign from Leicester, journalists absolutely clueless.

You would have to be naive in the extreme if you believed that three days before this January transfer window opens, Eddie Howe doesn’t know exactly what the situation is regarding transfer funds, what could and couldn’t be possible.

There will have been countless conversations with agents and other clubs as to potential availability of players, the likely costs involved, whether transfer fees, loan fees, wages, or whatever.

Those conversations taking place to a backdrop of Eddie Howe having at least a ballpark idea of what would be within his budget, if he wants to bring players in during this next transfer window.

What I do believe, is when Eddie Howe has in the past said that any major transfer activity in January would almost certainly be later in the month, when he will have a better idea of the likely injury / availability situation for the rest of the season.

If the NUFC boss had been in the position of having a more or less full available squad, I think we may well have seen the possibility of one or two players moving out, to help make way for new signings and help the club to financially do incoming deals. As we saw in January 2023 with Shelvey and Wood heading out, Gordon and Ashby arriving.

Difficult to see that though happening next month, with still so many players seemingly set to be missing.

As ever though, Eddie Howe will be the man with a plan, only he isn’t sharing it with anybody, least of all journalists.

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