Wed 13 Mar 2024, 16:59 · David Hollingsworth

The pressure is mounting on Eddie Howe, but is there a worthy replacement out there?

The pressure is mounting on Eddie Howe, but is there a worthy replacement out there?
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Eddie Howe is facing his toughest period since joining Newcastle United in November 2021. Some are even calling for the head coach to be replaced in the summer, but by whom?

While we're certainly not advocating for Howe to leave yet ourselves, it's clear that the tide is turning against the former Bournemouth manager within some sections of the support.

Howe led Newcastle into the Champions League last season, but his team seems to have fallen off a cliff in recent months under the weight of an increased schedule and due to a horrendous injury list.


Even with those mitigating factors, it's not completely certain that he will be in the dugout come the start of the 2024/25 campaign. But if he was to leave, who would our owners turn to? Here are the current front-runners:

José Mourinho

José and Bobby with the real Ronaldo back in their Barcelona days

We can feel you rolling your eyes, but the 'Special One' is the obvious candidate.

He's out of work and was heavily linked with the position before Howe was appointed. There's also the Director of Football/Sporting Director factor to consider, with Thiago Pinto recently linked to the role vacated by Dan Ashworth. With his previous good relationship at Roma with Mourinho, it could make sense.

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José also has a connection to Newcastle and while it's probably slightly overplayed at this point his love for Bobby Robson would be a factor if the Magpies came calling.

Another thing that could tempt the club hierarchy towards José is that he's a winner. Having won a trophy at all of his previous jobs since Porto bar Spurs (naturally), the man's trophy cabinet is a lot fuller than the one at St James' Park.


Graham Potter


In a post-Ashworth world, Potter could be as logical an option. Recent reports of the former Brighton and Chelsea head coach being considered by Manchester United could indicate that Ashworth remains a big fan.

Potter might be a sensible option if Newcastle want to give a head coach time at a project, though this would go against that logic if Howe is removed from his post, but hear us out.

Starting his coaching career at Östersund in Sweden, an impressive 1.71 PPM (points per match) in 224 games put him on the radar of Swansea, who appointed him in 2018. He spent just 51 games at the Welsh club, achieving 1.45 PPM, before Brighton snapped him up.

Here, Potter made his name, driving the Seagulls from a small side on the south coast to a Premier League mainstay. While his PPM was just 1.28 at the AMEX, he did more than enough to impress with his philosophy and style of football and got one of the 'big jobs' in the game at Chelsea.

His time at Stamford Bridge was a bit of a mess, with his 31 games in charge and 1.42 PPM not matching up with what the Blues and their supporters expected. Ultimately, it was the wrong fit and that's a mistake the Solihull-born Potter is unlikely to want to repeat.


Julian Nagelsmann

Julian Nagelsmann

Nagelsmann has been flirting with a plethora of European clubs for a while now and it looks like the German will be back in club football after the European Championships this summer.

The former RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich manager has been linked with the Newcastle job of late, though it would be a complete change of pace for him. So far, Nagelsmann has stayed in Germany, and he's been rather successful there. His time with the German national team has not impressed people in the same way, however.

Regardless, he'd be a potentially good option for Newcastle, with his preferred formation (4-2-3-1) not being too outside the comfort zone of the current Newcastle squad. At just 36, Nagelsmann has an incredible CV for his age and could be the type of manager to awaken the sleeping giant.


Andoni Iraola

Andoni Iraola

And just for fun, it's not outside the realms of possibility that the club could look to replace Howe with the latest Bournemouth manager to do well.

The Spaniard plays a good style of football and has Bournemouth on the rise and punching above their weight. Plus, he already knows how to manage the likes of Billing, Kelly, Solanke and any of the other Bournemouth players Howe probably wants us to sign anyway, so it could be a no-brainer!

If it was up to us, we'd give Howe another pre-season and transfer window before judging him too harshly on this campaign. However, if we had to change head coach/manager, the romantic in us has to admit we're intrigued by the possibility of José Mourinho at Newcastle United. It's seemed destined to happen for years.