Following a long-running debate regarding who would be the next man to take managerial reins at Newcastle United, Eddie Howe has been charged with the task of ushering in an exciting new era at St James’ Park. On the back of a takeover that has captured the imagination on Tyneside and raised collective spirits, the challenge now is for ambition off the field to be matched on it. Long-term plans are being drawn up, but immediate success is required.
Instant results are demanded nowadays, with reputations and good intentions counting for little if the ground is not hit running. Howe knows that and will be fully aware of how big the task ahead truly is. He is only in this position because Steve Bruce was ushered out of the very dugout he now fills. A vastly-experienced coach hung on for a while once new owners came in, but it was a case of 1,000 and out for him.
Interestingly, outright odds on the next Premier League manager to leave suggest that it will not be long before another club finds itself in the market for a fresh dose of tactical inspiration. Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tops an unwanted chart at present as a 4/9 shot to lose his job, with Claudio Ranieri and Rafael Benitez at Watford and Everton respectively not all that far behind.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) November 10, 2021
Howe, just a matter of days into his tenure, is a shorter price for the boot than 11 of those he has joined in the Premier League management game, which goes to show just how fickle football can be.
Can Howe deliver?
The former Bournemouth coach will be given time in which to get his feet under the table on Tyneside. He cannot afford to get too comfortable, though, as such seats have a tendency to get hot very quickly. Newcastle are in a relatively happy place right now, with the Toon Army daring to piece together the kind of dreams that have not been seen since the heady days of Kevin Keegan calling the shots and Alan Shearer plundering the goals.
Small steps are, however, required from this point. The future may be bright, but the present is a little bleak. A relegation dogfight may be on the cards for a side that is yet to get going in 2021/2022. That is why Howe finds himself in a new role.
Welcome. Good luck Eddie. We all hope you can bring us some much needed drive and ambition. #HWTL ⚫️⚪️🙋🏼♂️ https://t.co/Sik4t9mQWC
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) November 8, 2021
For all the talk about marquee signings in January and potential trophy tilts in the months and years to come, the immediate future remains of greater concern. Points and positive progress are imperative before another transfer window swings open and further fresh faces are welcomed through the doors. Howe is already on board and acclimatising to new surroundings, but he can expect that adjustment period to be brief. He is a new fancy for an expectant fan base, with the hope being that he will be a managerial match made in heaven, but there is no time for a honeymoon after a shotgun sporting marriage.