Eddie Howe replaced Steve Bruce as Newcastle head coach this week; he takes over a side lying 19th in the Premier League and without a win this season; Amanda Staveley says Newcastle are "preparing" for the January transfer window - the consortium's first as the club's new owners
Thursday 11 November 2021 16:50, UK
Amanda Staveley says Eddie Howe will be backed in the January transfer market following his appointment as Newcastle's new head coach.
Howe replaced Steve Bruce in the St James' Park dugout this week and his immediate priority will be steering his new side away from the Premier League relegation zone.
Newcastle are 19th in the table and remain the only side in the top flight that are yet to win a game this season, despite becoming one of the wealthiest clubs in the world when a Saudi-backed consortium bought the club from Mike Ashley last month.
Staveley, who is a Newcastle director and shareholder, says it is "important" to try to strengthen Howe's squad in the January window - the new owners' first since taking over the club.
Staveley told the Newcastle website: "We are preparing for the January transfer window. It's not a window we would ordinarily want to invest in, because you probably don't get the right deals, but that's something that is important at the moment.
"It would have been an easy decision for us not to buy the club, just to wait until post-Christmas and post the January window and see where the club was in the league, and then make the acquisition.
"That would have been the safe investment bet, but we didn't do that. We decided, if we didn't do it now, it wasn't going to happen and we had to take that risk.
"We took that risk because the club was sitting in 19th position at the time and Eddie took the job knowing there was that risk."
Howe's arrival came after more than a year out of the game following his departure from Bournemouth at the end of the 2019/20 season.
That campaign ended in relegation for the Cherries, but did not overshadow the good work done at the club by Howe, who took them from League Two to the Premier League during two spells as manager.
Howe's achievements at Bournemouth did not go unnoticed by Staveley, who added that the 43-year-old's willingness to battle relegation was also a factor in his appointment.
"We had to have someone leading the club who was not frightened of relegation," said Staveley. "Obviously he had an incredible impact on Bournemouth and I think we were impressed with the fact he's done all that on quite limited resources.
"It's very easy to win trophies if you've got a lot of money, or a lot of infrastructure or a lot of people. But when you are limited by those factors, his success really shone out."
Sky Sports' Ron Walker
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 across the footballing world. His doomed final season as Bournemouth manager lingers as the prevailing memory for some, having joined a team 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 that 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 gotten 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. When you look at the current Newcastle situation, whilst they're in the Premier League, the remit will be very similar to those first few days in that job."
Eddie Howe said it was an "incredible moment" to be named Newcastle head coach, adding that the Premier League club is the "perfect fit" for him.
Howe was confirmed as the new head coach of Newcastle on a contract until summer 2024.
The 43-year-old said he was "honoured and privileged" to be named at Steve Bruce's replacement, and thanked the club for showing faith in him.
"It feels fantastic to be head coach of Newcastle, I'm absolutely honoured and privileged," Howe said.
"It's an incredible moment in my life, and judging by the reaction I've had and how the two days of training has gone, it's been a really positive start.
"I'd like to thank everyone who supported me, and the board here for trusting in me in this important job."
Howe had been in talks to become Celtic manager earlier this year prior to the appointment of Ange Postecoglou, but negotiations broke down. Asked why he said yes to the job at Newcastle, he said: "Everything just felt right, it really did."
"The pull of the club is huge," he added. "The size of the club, the history of the club, the new ambitious plans, the new owners when meeting them, knowing some of the players - I just thought it was a perfect fit for me.
"Yes, I had lots of other options, but I wanted to take my time and really utilise my time away from the game.
"I feel refreshed, energised, and ready to start work."