Newcastle have named Eddie Howe as the replacement for Steve Bruce; the former Bournemouth manager is the first managerial appointment made by the Saudi-led consortium since their takeover of the club in October; Howe was in the stands to watch his new side draw at Brighton on Saturday
Tuesday 9 November 2021 05:52, UK
Eddie Howe has been confirmed as the new head coach of Newcastle on a contract until summer 2024.
Howe, who has been out of work since leaving Bournemouth in 2020 following their relegation from the Premier League, replaces Steve Bruce at St James' Park.
Newcastle had previously reached out to former Arsenal and current Villarreal boss Unai Emery about the vacancy, but he opted to remain with the La Liga side.
"It is a great honour to become head coach of a club with the stature and history of Newcastle United," said Howe, who will take training at the club for the first time on Tuesday.
"It is a very proud day for me and my family.
"This is a wonderful opportunity, but there is also a lot of work ahead of us and I am eager to get onto the training ground to start working with the players.
"I would like to thank the club's owners for this opportunity and thank the club's supporters for the incredible welcome they have already given me. I am very excited to begin our journey together."
The club's new owners were impressed with the way Howe presented his views on Newcastle's future and his level of research.
He had been in talks to become Celtic manager earlier this year prior to the appointment of Ange Postecoglou, but negotiations broke down.
Howe watched from the stands as Newcastle drew 1-1 at Brighton on Saturday, making them the only winless side in the Premier League this season.
Newcastle United co-owner Amanda Staveley said: "We have been incredibly impressed by Eddie through what has been a rigorous recruitment process.
"As well as his obvious achievements with AFC Bournemouth, where he had a transformational impact, he is a passionate and dynamic coach who has clear ideas about taking this team and club forward.
"He is a great fit for what we are trying to build here. We are delighted to welcome Eddie and his staff to St James' Park and very much look forward to working together towards our collective ambitions."
Newcastle said an announcement on first-team coaching appointments will "follow in due course".
Howe will have the international break to work with his players who are not on duty with their countries, before promoted side Brentford head for Tyneside for his first fixture on November 20.
There will be a series of familiar faces in the dressing room - striker Callum Wilson and midfielders Matt Ritchie and Ryan Fraser all worked under him during his time with the Cherries.
Sky Sports News' Keith Downie at St James' Park:
"It was the worst-kept secret over the last couple of days due to the fact that we saw Eddie Howe on Saturday night at the Amex Stadium, taking in Brighton vs Newcastle, sat alongside Amanda Staveley.
"There were one or two worries about whether it was going to go through and when it was going to go through. Now it is some 48 hours on, but the Newcastle supporters have got what they wanted - a new man in the dugout. He will have the best part of two weeks to work in players before that first match in charge, which will be at St James' Park against Brentford.
"It's the deal we've been waiting for since last Wednesday or Thursday when the deal for Unai Emery broke down. Newcastle then turned their attention to the former Bournemouth manager, who has been out of work for 15 months.
"That deal was agreed in principle with him on Thursday and there was one or two slight issues with his backroom staff over the weekend, I believe they've been ironed out. We do expect Eddie Howe to fly up to the North East later today and meet the players for the first time tomorrow, then take training with them later in the day."
Howe's arrival, following breakdowns in talks with Villarreal boss Unai Emery and ex-Roma head coach Paulo Fonseca, has not been met with universal acclaim on Tyneside. His doomed final season as Bournemouth manager lingers as the prevailing memory for much of a fanbase for whom relegation, despite their current predicament, is unthinkable.
Howe is also a victim of circumstance. He did not ask for Newcastle to be linked with Antonio Conte and Zinedine Zidane before settling on a man who has managed only Bournemouth and Burnley, or for the news that he was second or third choice, perhaps lower, to become so publicly apparent.
Speaking to those who know him best, pressure is something Howe is unusually comfortable - and certainly familiar - in dealing with. When he took his first managerial role, at then League Two Bournemouth, Howe was warned by the owner the club would likely fall into liquidation if he did not keep them in the division, despite contending with a 17-point deduction awarded for serious financial issues.
"You'd have to have been a mad man to take that job," says Sky Sports News' Mark McAdam, who was on the club's staff at the time and has got to know Howe well in the years since. But within 18 months the club had retained their league status before then winning promotion the following season, the start of a decade-long journey which would, eventually, lead him to St James' Park.
"That's what makes this so remarkable. Everything was against Eddie Howe when he first became the manager. And yet he succeeded in the most glorious fashion," said McAdam. "When you look at the current Newcastle situation, while they're in the Premier League, the remit will be very similar to those first few days in that job."