Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle: Fabrizio Romano provides crucial Eddie Howe update after major blow to top-six hopes

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe has been in charge of Newcastle since November 2021

Eddie Howe is not under any immediate pressure of being sacked by Newcastle United despite the 4-1 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Newcastle were swept aside at the Emirates last night as Kai Havertz, Bukayo Saka and Jakub Kiwior got on the scoresheet following a Sven Botman own goal. Joe Willock pulled one back for Newcastle late on, but it was nothing more than a consolation goal.

The defeat – Newcastle’s 11th in the Premier League this season – leaves the Magpies in eighth place on 37 points.

The club’s ambitious owners hope to become regulars in the top six before eventually forcing their way into the top four and challenging for league titles. But Newcastle are seven points behind sixth-placed Manchester United and 10 points behind Tottenham Hotspur, who occupy fifth spot.

During Newcastle’s struggles there have been tentative reports claiming the club’s hierarchy are looking at possible replacements for Howe, including Michel of La Liga high-flyers Girona.

However, Romano has played down such speculation, in a major boost for Howe. “The feeling at the club is that they’ve had a really unlucky season,” Romano said in his Daily Briefing column. “Things were moving in a very positive direction last term, but now they’ve had many injuries, and it was not possible to bring in new players in January due to Financial Fair Play issues.

“For sure it’s not going well, but I’m not aware of contacts with other managers in this moment. They know it’s been a complicated season for all parties involved, not only for the manager.”

As Romano points out, Newcastle’s progress has been halted by injuries to key players including Joelinton, Nick Pope, Harvey Barnes and Alexander Isak.

Newcastle hoping for big summer

While Newcastle officials would ideally like the team to be more consistent, it is hard to expect more from the players when there have been so many changes to the team.

As Newcastle are also operating close to their FFP limit, they were not able to sign any senior players in the winter window, despite wanting to replace the banned Sandro Tonali with a new midfielder. The only new arrival at St James’ Park was 18-year-old midfield starlet Alfie Harrison, who has joined their academy setup.

Luckily for Howe, Newcastle’s financial situation should have eased off by the summer, allowing several new signings to be made. This will in turn help to prevent another injury crisis affecting Newcastle’s results and performances.

But if Newcastle spend big on some top-class new players, then the pressure will be on Howe to get the club back into the top six and potentially closer to the top four.