The Magpies are currently struggling at the 19th position in the Premier League table.
Newcastle United are set to announce Eddie Howe as their new manager on a two-year contract. The decision to sack Steve Bruce just weeks after the takeover, did not come as a surprise. Newcastle are yet to win a single Premier League game this season. The Magpies are currently in the 19th position in the league table with the odds of them going down being pretty high.
The former Bournemouth manager has earned his name in world football, for his remarkable work at the club he’s been at. When the Englishman took over, Bournemouth were playing League Two football. Howe guided the cherries to the top flight of English football for the first time in their history. However, Howe left the club after Bournemouth faced relegation from the Premier League and has stayed out of management since then before Newcastle came calling.
The 43-year-old now has an enormous task ahead with the Magpies battling for survival after a horrendous start to the Premier League season. So, here are the five challenges that Eddie Howe will face at Newcastle United.
5. Recruitment Problem
The takeover seems to be the only good thing that has happened in Tyneside this season. After 14 years of struggle under the ownership of Mike Ashley, there is a fresh surge of enthusiasm among the Newcastle faithful following the €300 million takeover by the Saudi Public Investment firm.
But despite having the big money to spend, Newcastle United will struggle to attract top players to St. James Park given the side are fighting to stay alive in the Premier League. Also with the next transfer window approaching in January, a big pool of talented players are unlikely to be available. Eddie Howe will, therefore, need to be really smart with his signings and will need to first guide the club out of the relegation zone.
4. Boosting the confidence of the players
Given the ambition of the new owners, most of the players are at a risk of being axed. This would have taken a toll and caused distress in the Newcastle dressing room. If the players feel their place at the club is at risk, their performance is likely to take a hit.
Newcastle seem to be at sixes and sevens in the present moment. Howe has a gigantic task of rebuilding the confidence of the squad. The former Bournemouth manager needs to make his players feel at home. To implement his style of play, he needs to gain the trust of his players. Given the present state of the club, Howe needs to use all of his managerial experience to create stability in the club.
3. Toothless in attack
Newcastle have scored just 11 goals in their first 10 Premier League matches. Given Bruces’ style of play, the Magpies have lacked creativity going forward. Their midfield have looked out of place and lack that creativity and the cutting edge. Allan Saint-Maximin, who has been involved in 50% of the goals that Newcastle have scored, looks to be carrying the creativity burden on his shoulders. Any injury to their star man in the future is likely to deplete the Magpies of goals.
Callum Wilson, prior to his injury, was in a decent scoring run. The striker had scored four goals in the first six matches for his new club. However, since the injury, his replacements Joelinton and Joe Willock have not been able to replicate his scoring streak. Eddie Howe will have to implement a playing style that allows the side to create more goalscoring chances. With Wilson prone to injuries, the 43-year-old could do with signing another striker in January.
2. Leaky defence
Steve Bruces’ teams have always been solid defensively. However, it has been a different story this season. The Magpies have conceded 23 goals in their first 10 games Premier League outings. Newcastle’s defence seem to be all over the place at the moment and are yet to register a single clean sheet in the league.
Despite playing with a back five, Newcastle have conceded 2.30 goals per game and that is a major point of concern. The backline are also susceptible to pace and look closer to conceding every time the opposition runs at them. Howe will surely be looking for defensive reinforcements in the winter transfer window.
1. Keeping them from relegation
The major task that lays ahead of the former Bournemouth manager is keeping Newcastle up in the Premier League. Instilling a winning mentality in the squad, seems to be an arduous task for a side that are yet to win their first league game. Newcastle have conceded the second-most goals in the league this season, behind Norwich City.
Changing the fortune of the Magpies looks rather impossible at this time. Getting off to a good start will be crucial for Eddie Howe. Given the ambitions and plans of the new owners, Howe will be under strict scrutiny if he fails to keep the Magpies up.