Newcastle have endured a tricky last two months with eight defeats in their last 12 matches. The Magpies crashed out of the Champions League at the group stage and suffered Carabao Cup misery with a penalty shoot-out loss to Chelsea in the quarter-finals.
After underwhelming losses to Luton and Nottingham Forest in the Premier League, Newcastle are 10 points behind third-placed Aston Villa after 19 games. Their only win since December 12 was a 3-0 defeat against 10-man Fulham.
And it could get worse Rolet Online before it gets better with Eddie Howe’s men facing Liverpool at Anfield, Man City at St James’ Park and Aston Villa at Villa Park in their next three. So should Newcastle be giving thought to sacking Howe?
Members of the Express Sport team have their say as the pressure mounts on Howe…
Bournemouth 2-0 Newcastle | Eddie Howe Press Conference
Should Newcastle sack Eddie Howe right now? No. But is the pressure increasing? Definitely. The defeats to Luton and Nottingham Forest weren’t anywhere near good enough and it’s been a December from hell. The nature of their Carabao Cup and Champions League exits were particularly heartbreaking. They desperately need a morale boost in their next few matches, and anything other than victory in the FA Cup against Sunderland will quadruple the weight on Howe’s shoulders.
But he’s been dealing with an incredible amount of injuries and absences. Get a couple of high-quality signings made in January and Newcastle will be right back in the top-four fight. The Magpies should only consider a change of managers if form hasn’t improved by mid-March or so.
turn results around
Howe is not the right man to help Newcastle conquer the Premier League and the Champions League. No one can deny he did an outstanding job to turn around the team’s fortunes when he initially took over but, with the Magpies owners seemingly possessing unlimited funds to bankroll the club, they need to aim higher.
It’s not even a question of giving the manager time; Howe is not an elite manager in the same manner as someone like Pep Guardiola. It’s time for Newcastle to find their Guardiola.
No chance. The Magpies are on a miserable run but the mitigating factors are obvious. In Sandro Tonali, Nick Pope, Joe Willock and Sven Botman (who recently returned from injury), Howe has been missing a number of truly vital players.
The upcoming run of games is daunting, but Newcastle should give the manager every chance to turn things around and avoid being tempted by their newfound pulling power if a big-name boss becomes available.
It would be madness for Newcastle to sack Eddie Howe right now, given the incredible job he has done since taking over on Tyneside. The sheer volume of injuries has made it difficult for the Magpies, who are currently missing nine first-team players, to keep up with the Premier League’s biggest hitters and Howe cannot be blamed for that. Who would they even get in to replace him?
Jose Mourinho recently underlined his desire to stay at Roma despite being tentatively linked with the Magpies job, while there is no guarantee that appointing a big-name coach would be a success — just ask Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea! The situation could be revisited if Newcastle’s poor run of form goes on, but it would be silly to sack their greatest manager in a generation at this point, especially when their rotten luck with injuries is taken into account.
Newcastle’s season is not beyond repair. They sit just five points outside of the European places with an ever-growing list of absentees. Therefore, sacking with Eddie Howe would be the wrong decision for the Magpies. The ex-Bournemouth boss has created an environment where fringe players feel crucial and youngsters can thrive, and if anyone is able to help the club get back into the top six this season then it is him.
Over the summer a serious conversation needs to be had at St James’ Park about Howe though and whether he is the man to take Newcastle to the very top, as he may have taken the club as far as he can. There are very few better candidates available at present, but 2024 is the right time to weigh up whether parting ways is the next important step for the club to take.
Eddie Howe has won the right to be given time by Newcastle’s mega-rich Saudi owners following their top-four success last season. This term, their first back amongst the big boys, was always going to be a bit of a learning curve for the Magpies due to the exertions of having to balance Premier League and European football. Injuries and fatigue are killing them and Howe should definitely be given some patience to try and turn the club’s fortunes around.
But the defeat to Nottingham Forest was a chastening one, and upcoming clashes with title chasers Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal and Aston Villa are hugely worrying for Newcastle. Come out of the next couple of months with further regular red in the column that could see them slip further adrift in the race for European football, then it may be time to talk. But for now, Howe deserves the chance to get things back on track – it’s far too early to be calling for the sack.