Craig Hope has delivered a late-night update on where things currently stand with Newcastle United’s managerial pursuit, including news on both Unai Emery and Eddie Howe.
Reports from the north-east had appeared to suggest that Emery was all set to take charge at St James’ Park and be in place for this weekend’s Premier League game against Brighton.
However, the former Arsenal boss reaffirmed his commitment to Villareal in a statement on Wednesday, leaving the Magpies red-faced.
Writing on Twitter, Hope said late yesterday night: “NUFC gave Emery ‘everything he wanted’ & ‘made fantastic offer’. Stunned by U-turn. He indicated he wanted job. – Spanish sources say he decided to stay where he’s ‘comfortable’ & some reasons are ‘excuses’ – Howe back in frame after impressive interview.”
While missing out on Emery will come as a bitter blow for Newcastle’s new owners, turning back to Howe shouldn’t be seen as a major disaster.
Though the Englishman’s last job in football saw him get relegated with Bournemouth, that shouldn’t take away from the incredible job he did for the most part of his time with the Cherries – something The Athletic journalist Oliver Kay was quick to point out on Twitter on Wednesday morning.
He said: “As for possibility of Eddie Howe for #NUFC, I find it weird — pretty dismal actually — that some dismiss him as “the guy who took Bournemouth down” rather than “the guy who took Bournemouth from League Two to the Premier League and kept them there for five seasons.”
One of Howe’s former players, Jack Wilshere, has even suggested that he could be a perfect fit at Newcastle, saying: “I think he’d be great with the players Newcastle have got. With the transition they’re in, he could take them to the next level.”
And, Wilshere also gave an insight into the kind of manager he can be inside the dressing room too, revealing: “Howe used to lose it a little. You knew when you didn’t perform right for him. He was a great coach, he had the respect of the players and everyone listened to him but sometimes he would lose it.
“After my first game for Bournemouth, we played City away and we got smashed 5-1. I gave the ball away a few times and came in at the end of the game, it was the first game for a while, and he just said ‘Jack, what are you doing? We brought you here to keep the ball, not give it away’ in front of everyone. He was angry and from that moment I knew what I had to do for him.”
While Magpies fans may initially be underwhelmed at going from Emery to Howe, the latter could be exactly what they need for this initial stage of the revolution at St James’ Park.
A young manager who can rejuvenate this squad and help to build an identity of playing exciting, attacking football. That’s especially now they’re down to their second choice.
If in a couple of years the chance comes to make the step-up in terms of quality of manager, then it will have been done after the Magpies have been established as a genuinely exciting side to watch.
Newcastle fans should feel a bit more excited about Hope’s claim that Howe is back in the frame.