The Newcastle United Transformation
A year ago, Newcastle United got their first win of the season after 14 games lifting them to 18th in the Premier League. Now after 15 games they sit third in the League.
Eddie Howe was appointed Newcastle United manager in 2021 shortly after the Saudi-backed consortium took over the club.
This was Howe’s first job back in management since suffering relegation in 2020 with Bournemouth. Eyebrows were raised when Howe was appointed in 2021 as many expected the Magpies to get a big-name in. The Newcastle board were sensible and got a manager to match where the club were at time and who had been in relegation battles in the past.
At first Howe and his team found it difficult only winning one in his first ten games in charge. Proving the task at hand would be a challenging one and many predicting Newcastle to go down and be “the richest club in world in the championship.”
In January Newcastle signed five players in a bid to keep the Magpies up:
Kieran Tripper £12 Million
Chris Wood £25 Million
Bruno Guimaraes £38 Million
Dan Burn £15 Million
Matt Targett Loan
Total= £90 Million
Bruno Guimaraes quickly became a fan favourite by partnering the fellow Brazilian Powerhouse Joelinton in the heart of the midfield. This was vital as the pair never stop running and always wants to win the ball back and then get it up the pitch to create chances for attackers.
Kieran Tripper at the back quickly inserted himself as a leader on the pitch and in the dressing room. Tripper defensive qualities and attacking capabilities helped keep Newcastle in the Premier League.
These five signings prove to be the key for Eddie Howe to start getting results for Newcastle and start playing high pressing football. Newcastle went on to lose only four games in their next 18 games which led to them to finished 11th in the Premier League. Slowly developing in to a team playing on the front foot. This gave hope for the Geordies who have been starved of ambition for 14 years and that is all they wanted.
Going into 2022/23 season the Newcastle fans were hopeful of progress with the majority hoping for a top half finish. Not many people knew what to expect from Newcastle going into the season as Howe had a full pre-season to implement his ideas and his motto is “Our identity is intensity.”
In the summer of 2022 Newcastle made four summer signings:
Sven Botman £35 Million
Matt Targett £15 Million
Nick Pope £10 Million
Alexander Isak £65 Million
Newcastle started the season with two goal victory over newly promoted Nottingham Forrest with goals from Fabian Schar and Callum Wilson.
As the season went on many teams began to fear Newcastle as they were winning but winning comfortably.
In October is where it all clicked for the Magpies scoring 16 goals in six games and only conceded three goals this led to Newcastle winning five games from six in October. Eddie Howe deservedly won Manager of the Month. While Miguel Almiron won Player of the Month for scoring six goals in six games and silencing the doubters such as Jack Grealish which led to ‘play like Almiron’ trending on Twitter.
This form continue into November with Newcastle having two games in November before the World Cup break. Newcastle beat Southampton 4-1. The final game before the break was when people began to properly recognise that Newcastle United could possibly get top four. This was after Newcastle beat Chelsea by one goal thanks to Joe Willock. Chelsea were stunned after the intensity of Newcastle United causing them to win the ball back multiple times and the St James’ Park faithful encouraged the team and made them fearless.
Now Newcastle currently sit 3rd in the Premier League losing only once and having the joint-best defence in the league one conceding 11 goals in 15 games. This season Newcastle have been great to watch always looking to play on the front foot linking back to Eddie Howe’s motto “Our Identity is our intensity.”
Newcastle United fans will be eager to see what the rest of the season will bring.