Wed 8 Nov 2023, 13:49 · Ash Harrison

From relegation favourites to the Champions League: Two years of Eddie Howe have been amazing

From relegation favourites to the Champions League: Two years of Eddie Howe have been amazing
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Today marks two years since Edward John Frank Howe entered our lives and made it all the better.

It took a month for the PIF, Amanda Staveley, Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Jamie Reuben to find the perfect replacement for Steve Bruce after they took over Newcastle United.

At the time there were plenty of people who were underwhelmed with the appointment having just seen Unai Emery slip through our grasp, but largely it was a welcome decision. Frankly, at the time we knew that anyone would have been an improvement on Steve Bruce.

Eddie Howe wasted no time whipping his new players into shape

Newcastle were in 19th place in the Premier League when Eddie Howe and Jason "Mad Dog" Tindall came in, it took some stones to come in and take on the task they had ahead of them, but they immediately got to work, putting the players through their paces on the training pitch, highlighting just how unfit our players were compared to the level they should have been.

Two massively important things happened in the second half of that season. Eddie Howe worked a miracle and got Newcastle within touching distance of a top-half league finish despite having no wins in the first 14 games. More miraculously though, Eddie Howe transformed Joelinton from a Premier League laughing stock to the most feared box-to-box midfielder in the league.

Joelinton was just the first of his player revivals as he's now gone on to make Champions League-quality players out of Miguel Almiron and Jacob Murphy. He's revived the careers of Fabian Schar, Lascelles, and Sean Longstaff who all looked destined for the exit under Bruce. Longstaff has since publicly spoken about how his time under Bruce left him depressed and considering his future in the sport.

Everyone expected wild and crazy signings after becoming "the world's richest club", but having the world's richest backers doesn't translate to the world's richest club thanks to FFP restrictions. Therefore, while Howe was able to spend considerably more than previous Newcastle managers in his first transfer window, he did so cleverly. He made two big signings in Kieran Trippier (who he got for a steal) and Bruno Guimaraes. He backed those up with Dan Burn and Chris Wood along with Matt Targett on loan.

Eddie Howe and his side massively overperformed last season and look to do it again

That's how Newcastle continues to do business in the transfer market. We haven't brought in any genuine superstars, but we've brought Alexander Isak, Sven Botman, and Sandro Tonali; players with strong reputations and the potential to be superstars.

In Eddie Howe's first full season in charge, he got us to the Carabao Cup final and a fourth-place Premier League finish ensuring that we qualified for the Champions League.

Newcastle's new owners always expected Newcastle to become a Champions League side under their stewardship, but not for another three to five years. Howe had once again worked miracles.

Howe at Dortmund
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Eddie Howe last night at Dortmund

Howe has transformed our squad into a team and that's huge

A huge part of what he's done for the club is getting all the players fighting for each other. In my forty years on this earth, I've not seen a Newcastle side more together than this one. That's another big part of why going out and buying global megastars just won't fly. With that reputation often comes ego, and egos disrupt harmony. That just won't work for Howe.

This season Howe is dealing with a bizarre injury crisis, and though I'm writing this on the back of a disappointing defeat, the fact that we were even in the Champions League to get beat is something worth celebrating.

Two years has flown over under Howe, and we hope that this is just the start of a long and beautiful story.