NEWCASTLE UNITED: UNAI EMERY AND EDDIE HOWE LEADING MANAGERIAL RACE
Since the takeover, many involved with Newcastle have speculated around who will be the new manager for their new journey under their Saudi owners.
Steve Bruce began the tenure, taking charge of the 3-1 defeat to Tottenham, however he was relieved of his duties less than a week later.
This has meant that Bruce’s former assistant Graeme Jones has taken charge of the previous two matches, the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace and the 3-0 defeat to league leaders Chelsea.
Since the departure of Bruce everyone has been speculating around who is going to take the club to their new anticipated heights. However, what the new owners and fans need to contend with first, is getting out of a relegation fight.
The first name that was linked to the vacancy was Paulo Fonseca. The Italian has been linked to multiple jobs in Europe since his departure from Roma. However nothing ever materialized.
Another Italian mentioned has been former Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan serial winner Antonio Conte, although he opted to head to North London to become the new Tottenham manager.
As well as this, there has also been a lot of rumors and speculation around Liverpool legend and current Rangers boss Steven Gerrard. Gerrard guided the Glasgow side to their first league title for 10 years to end the Celtic reign.
With many Newcastle fans and football fanatics thinking up wild transfer and managerial intermissions, there has been no realistic thinking regarding where and what Newcastle United are at this current time.
It has been a long time since The Magpies where considered one of the best in the country and they where on the fringes of European and Domestic success. The times of Alan Shearer and Kevin Keagan are long gone.
It was only 5 years ago that Newcastle where in the Championship with the likes of Alexander Mitrovic and Dwight Gayle leading the line with the majority of those players still on the books of the Geordie side.
Against Tottenham there were 5 players included in the squad who where with the club when they were in the second division. With an ageing squad and imbalance in quality it is hard to find a balanced formula that works.
Because of these struggles, Newcastle currently sit in 19th position in the Premier League and are 6 points from safety with no win to their name.
It’s a monumental task for any manager to help try and turn this club around and help revive a sleeping giant of English football.
The two men who have emerged as Bruce’s successor, are former Arsenal and current Villareal manager Unai Emery and former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.
Both men have experience in the English top flight and have both had 2 very different experiences. So the question is, who is better suited for the Newcastle job?
Firstly there is Emery, 49, the Spaniard was in the Premier League for 18 months when he took over from Arsene Wenger, becoming the first new manager of the Gunners for over 25 years.
His time in North London was rather underwhelming as he failed to get the gunners Champions League football in the league as they finished 5th in his only full season in charge. That season ended in disappointment for the Spaniard as his side where defeated 4-1 by Chelsea in the Europa League final.
He was then dismissed as Arsenal boss only 7 months later when he was replaced by fellow Spaniard Mikel Arteta.
Since leaving the Gunners he has gone back to his homeland and taken charge of Villareal.
Since his appointment he has become a legend of the club as he won the club their first piece of silverware in their history as they shocked Manchester United on penalties to win the Europa League and earn Champions League football.
Well the benefits are that he has winning experience as a manager, he was a serial winner when he was PSG manager and also recently with Villareal.
As well as this, he has experience is managing personalities and big profile players. He managed Neymar in his first season in Paris and as well as this he had to deal with many controversial characters at Arsenal such as Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil. Despite this, he still tried his best to get the most out of his players.
He isn’t used to dealing with a relegation scrap. The level of the football at Newcastle is significantly lower than that of his previous clubs. He will be having to break down the type of tactics and defensive nouse that Newcastle adopted and try to find a system that will allow the likes of Alan Saint-maximin and Callum Wilson to play their best football.
Additionally, he will be coming in a good 2 months before a transfer window meaning that he will have to deal with the players that he has until January at least. That being said, he will no doubt be given the financial support by the new owners to create his squad.
Moving on to Eddie Howe, the 43 year old has been without a job since leaving Bournemouth at the end of 2019/20 season when his side where relegated after a 5 year stay in the top flight.
He has been linked to multiple jobs since his departure and was very close to becoming the Celtic manager in the summer although they could not agree a deal to appoint the Englishman.
With the experience that Howe has he would arguably be the best short term candidate for the job.
He has experience dealing with an older squad. When he was manager of the Cherries he had an ageing squad that where experienced in English football, this is similar to Newcastle as they have a primarily British squad.
As well as this, he knows how to grind out results in a relegation fight. He will know how to get the best out of his players and at times his Bournemouth side would be complimented on his sides defensive solidity and counter-attacking style.
Also, he would be coaching some of his former players in Scottish forward Ryan Fraser and previously mentioned Wilson. They where players that he could rely on and they are well established Premier League players.
He will be coming into a side where he will have a level of expectation that needs to be met. This will mean that he is expected to grind out results and complete the ultimate goal for this season which will be survival.
Secondly, he will be judged on the style of football that he plays. There was a certain style of play that fans weren’t too happy with under Bruce and that was regarded as boring and defensive therefore meaning that the fans where criticizing the team and the management. This is something that Howe will need to avoid if he is to be successful if he where to get the job.
Overall, it is interesting times at Newcastle United, as the new owners have a big decision to make regarding the foreseeable future of the football club. It is all well and good planning the next 10-15 years but they need to get out of the honeymoon faze and focus on the job at hand that has to be dealt with immediately.
Afterall, Newcastle won’t be able to win the Premier League if they aren’t in it.