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Opinion

I haven’t seen anywhere else – This maybe key factor why Newcastle 4 Luton 4 happened

2 weeks ago
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It ended Newcastle 4 Luton 4.

An incident packed afternoon which left Newcastle United fans trying to process what they had just witnessed.

A lot of mixed emotions.

Gutted to have led 1-0 and 2-1.

Pleased / relieved to have come back from 4-2 down with only 20 odd minutes left and grab a point.

Should be beating teams like Luton Town, or always looked a not easy game up against a side with only one defeat in their last eight matches and who had just hammered Brighton 4-0, or maybe a bit of both?

As for the Newcastle United players, focus on the mistakes and parts of the game that had led to four conceded at home, or focus on the positive aspects and four good to very good goals, or a bit of both?

Anyway, I wanted to introduce something else to the debate about this Newcastle 4 Luton 4 match and how it turned out. I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere else.

Eddie Howe.

No, not whether Tino Livramento or Dan Burn should have played left-back. I have heard and read quite enough about that thanks.

Instead, I want to go back to the days leading up to the match.

Now it isn’t a case of making excuses as to why Newcastle United didn’t win, I think that Luton came and showed enterprise, had a good go, they earned their point and on balance of play probably deserved it when considering how the game turned out.

What I want to focus on are the preparations for the match.

Friday morning saw a surprise appearance from Jason Tindall, taking over media duties because Eddie Howe was ill. Though they hopefully expected him in the dugout on the Saturday.

I think fair to say that with the press conference episode, I can’t imagine that Eddie Howe took training that day (Friday), nor the day before (Thursday). We played at Villa on the Tuesday night, so safe to say that there was no training session on Wednesday.

Basically, Eddie Howe didn’t have a chance to work with the team ahead of the Luton match.

That doesn’t then mean it is impossible for Newcastle United to still beat Luton Town at home. However, it certainly doesn’t help.

In so many Premier League matches, there are such fine margins.

Eddie Howe is a very hands on manager / coach and we have seen the evidence so often of his game plans for individual matches and what a difference he can make.

Just look at the Villa match last Tuesday. Even though NUFC had been in West London on the Saturday winning 2-0 at Fulham, meaning not a great amount of time to prepare, Eddie Howe still organised and delivered a perfect game plan that his players executed to the letter, Unai Emery powerless to counter. Villa had won nine and drawn the other one of their other ten Premier League home matches this season, indeed they hadn’t lost at home in the league in 17 matches stretching back to February 2023.

I think Eddie Howe has made a clear difference in so many performances since he arrived at St James Park and I think every chance his hands on input last Thursday and Friday could and would have been enough to tip things in NUFC’s favour.

The alternative to this, for me, is that if you don’t accept he could have made a difference, is then you would have to believe that Eddie Howe with his intense preparation work before matches, doesn’t add anything of real quality to the mix.

I don’t believe that for a second and think we will go to Forest on Saturday and win, thanks at least in part to the work Eddie Howe is doing with his players this week.

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