Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

‘The richest club in the Champ’ – a bleak outlook for Newcastle survival hopes under Eddie Howe

James Marshment
Club director Amanda Staveley and husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi (left) with Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe after a press conference at St James' Park

Having opted for Eddie Howe as their new manager, our writers debate whether he can steer Newcastle to Premier League survival and wonder if next season they’ll be the richest club in the Championship.

Howe, 43, was appointed as successor to Steve Bruce on Monday and he took training on Tuesday. Wednesday was the day to speak to the media and meet the fans. Talking for the first time he said talk of a January spending spree was not at the top of his agenda.

Howe said: “We’ve had some very good conversations, but I haven’t delved into the club too much because it’s all about the short-term and obviously the position of the team.

“We need to try to address that very quickly, move up the league. That’s the aim – to stay in the league and avoid relegation. That’s really my main focus at the moment and everything else can wait until another day.

“I’m absolutely confident we can, but I make no promises on that. There’s no magic wand and it’s going to take a lot of hard work, instilling what we want into the players very quickly.

“Their application so far has been hugely impressive. But we’re going to need to be consistent for us to get there.”

The Magpies – cash-rich after their huge takeover from the Saudi Arabian PIF – are being linked though with several big names, however. Indeed, Thursday’s Paper Talk has plenty more speculation over whom they may sign.

As such, Howe will surely bolter his options in January with some decent signings. However, much will depend on how Newcastle’s existing squad respond to their new manager.

They remain winless so far this season and with Brentford up next, many will be expecting an upturn.

With all that in mind, our writers debate whether Howe can keep Newcastle in the Premier League….

James Marshment

In a word, will Newcastle survive? No

I don’t think Eddie Howe is a good appointment at all. He’s not a big name and I’ve heard plenty of fans claiming they “might as well have stuck with Bruce”.

And if they think that appointing Howe will attract the big, European names they’re supposedly after, it’s a massive no from me. With respect, he’s a bit of a ‘nobody’ outside England….

As a result, I can definitely still see them going down. The squad lacks serious quality for me. As a Leeds fan, I look through their squad and ask which players I’d take to Elland Road. Allan Saint-Maximin is the obvious one. Outside that, maybe Jamaal Lascelles and Callum Wilson….

It looks a big struggle for me and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them go down. The ‘richest club in the Championship’ will be a huge story for all the wrong reasons on Tyneside.

Matty Briggs

In a word, will Newcastle survive? No.

They are yet to win a game, but have five draws so far this season. They sit just five points adrift of safety and it’s feasible that Howe can guide them to safety.

But with the current crop of players it looks a tall order. Howe is hardly the Steven Gerrard or Unai Emery they were hoping for.

Howe though has a decent reputation, in England at least, and has promised to “play brave, attacking football”.

Newcastle need to target experienced midfielder like Ramsey

The position Newcastle are in requires an experienced leader to help them improve.

That is certainly what the fans demand, but his success looks likely to depend on his January recruitment.

It will be suicidal to go gung-ho with a defence which has leaked 24 goals already. Ideally he needs at least four players to come straight into his side with the spine of his team requiring some attention.

And that may require some excellent recruitment planning of which Howe will be responsible with no sporting director.

It looks a tall order and their best hope is that Burnley fail to pick up and they finish 17th. But honestly I think they will go down.

Rob McCarthy

In a word, will Newcastle survive? Yes

It’s the sort of appointment that has to be made in the summer when he has a full pre-season to change their playing style. Not a manager for a relegation scrap at all, although he did keep Bournemouth in the top flight for four seasons.

Why did they not go for Gerrard? Newcastle has to be a bigger draw than Villa now, although Villa are probably a more stable club. I’m a little surprised he wasn’t up for that challenge. Villa are a safer bet as the springboard to taking the Liverpool job eventually.

As for Howe, so much depends on his January signings and keeping talisman Allan Saint-Maximin.

Despite all that, I have a sneaky feeling that they will just about cling on and retain their Premier League status. Sadly for Newcastle, though, that is more down to the fact that I think it’s Burnley’s time to go – while Norwich and Watford will also bite the dust.

Samuel Bannister

In a word, will Newcastle survive? Yes.

One idea that has come to mind was if they might have gone for him since he has experience in both the Premier League and the Championship. They’ll be hoping he can adapt either way.

It’s hard to judge if he is the kind of manager who can progress to the bigger challenge that Newcastle could become over time. Likewise, we can’t even say for certain how much the club themselves will progress, so maybe this was a case of playing it safe for now.

With no wins from 11 league games, they’ve given themselves a lot of work to do with the way they started the season and it won’t be easy for Howe to take over mid-season. Coming in during an international break, though, and finding a couple of his old Bournemouth players to work with again, may give him a head start.

He’s definitely not the big name they may have been hoping for, though, despite having a decent reputation from what he did with Bournemouth.

And that may be a sign of things to come in the transfer market, despite their hopes of luring top talents. January will be crucial for Howe but only time will tell how much help he will get.

That said, they are only five points from safety now. There’s a long way to go and time to see if they can replicate the surge of form that steered them away from the relegation zone towards the end of last season.

It won’t be easy and they are in big danger – but it’s impossible to write them off until their transfer plans become clear. Even before then, Howe has the chance to get things up and running.

He is under no illusion about their basic objective. The risk of the embarrassment of relegation may just give them that extra inspiration to get over the line, however possible.

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