With less than a week left on Rafa Benitez’s contract with Newcastle United, we start to look at the potential replacement candidates.
Durim and I both wholeheartedly wanted Rafa Benitez to get a new long term deal with Newcastle United. But, with the club announcing that he will depart at the end of his contract, it doesn’t appear we will get our wish. When the Spaniard departs St. James’ Park, there will be a lengthy list of names that Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley will be looking over. We take a look at one of the managers likely on that list, Eddie Howe.
Current club: AFC Bournemouth (second stint)
Previous club(s): Burnley
Overall managerial record: 218 wins, 102 draws, 179 losses
Playing career? Yes. Howe played as a defender for Bournemouth, Portsmouth, and Swindon Town.
The Experts’ Opinions
(We rank our support of this manager being hired. 1 is we absolutely do not want this to happen and 5 is we are completely on board with this move)
Durim Halimi: 4
If Rafa Benitez leaves Newcastle United on June 30th and if the club announces Eddie Howe as his replacement, the team would be in decent hands. Only 41-years-old, Howe has already worked football miracles at Bournemouth by earning three promotions and by transforming the Cherries into a respectable mid-table Premier League side. Does he have the best talent on his roster? No, especially not on the back-line, but his tactics keep Bournemouth competitive in most matches.
Howe knows how to get the best out of every player and it is not surprising seeing two of his midfielders each score seven goals this past season and his striking duo also combined to score 26 goals. The Toon have no superstars on the squad, but Howe has proven that he can succeed with a mediocre roster. Overall, if Howe came to Newcastle United I would be optimistic as his attacking style of play would demand respect.
Carson A. Merk: 4
Newcastle United could do MUCH worse than Eddie Howe. While he has not exactly set the world on fire managing Bournemouth, he’s still young (41 years old) and learning as a manager. Last season, he guided the Cherries to a 14th place finish on the table with the 7th-most goals and 8th-most clean sheets. Howe’s history with Bournemouth, playing and coaching, could be a factor in both directions with the potential opening at Newcastle United. He could feel a deep loyalty to the club, despite managing Burnley in between stints with Bournemouth, and not want to leave. Or, he could be eager to prove he can find sustained success outside of the club he is most comfortable with. Experience with managing Newcastle United midfielder Matt Ritchie could be a plus.
I think with his age and familiarity with the Premier League, and with a club outside the top six, Howe makes a lot of sense for the Magpies.