Just a little over 10 years ago, Nathan Jones was still playing professional football at Yeovil Town. He spent seven years there after spending more than five with Brighton & Hove Albion. Interestingly enough, he never had a thing to do with Southampton.
Nathan Jones is, of course, the current manager in charge of the Saints after Soton decided to part ways with Ralph Hasenhuttl last November, appointing the lad from Blaenrhondda, Wales, in his replacement.
There is something interesting here, mostly because of what Jones said on Monday when asked about Howe’s tenure in charge of the Magpies—Howe, just in case, was appointed after the Saudi takeover in October 2021.
The parallels are clear between both managers and clubs—sinking teams in the Premier League trying to find a break by handing the reins to bright, young coaches still green and maturing.
”There are a lot of parallels. If I can do anywhere near the job he has done there, I will be happy. He took a team over in League Two and did well, then went to Burnley, came back and got Bournemouth to the Premier League.”
Those were Jones' words, and the truth is that they were right and factual.
Jones has been on the bench of Southampton for two months now, with the World Cup break smacked right in the middle of his tenure there. The Saints are dead last in the Premier League, though, so it’s not that he’s been incredible at the helm.
That said, Jones has been staggeringly successful in the cup games he’s managed at Southampton. The Saints have won just one of six EPL games since Jones took over the manager position. In both the FA Cup and the EFL Cup, though, Jones has guided his team to a ridiculous 3-0 record with victories over Lincoln City, Crystal Palace, and Manchester City. That’s no joke, folks.
Advancing in both cups is surely not comparable to advancing in, say, the Champions League, in terms of how demanding those competitions are for struggling teams in domestic leagues. In fact, Southampton might be last in the Premier League but they are also just two games away from making a cup final and four from sneaking into a second one.
At the end of the day, trailing everybody sucks. But Soton is sitting in 20th with 15 points, the same as 19th-place Everton and just two shy of 18th- and 17th-place Bournemouth and Wolves.
Newcastle better not rest on their laurels and play a hella tough and competitive game today, and another one next week if they want to avoid upsets and surprises. Jones might be the next Howe, and his cup runs (yes, plural) have already proved his coaching talents.
Eddie Howe spoke to the media on Monday providing some fresh takes on Newcastle’s state of affairs just hours before today’s game.
You can read everything Howe had to say here, as part of our pre-match coverage.
WhoScored.com predictions at the upcoming Starting XIs from the Magpies and the Saints are in, so let’s go through what could be coming from Newcastle’s Eddie Howe.
- Not Available: Shelvey (calf), Krafth (knee), Targett (foot)
- Doubtful: —
- A lot of people were surprised by Bruno’s presence on the starting XI used by Howe last Saturday for the latest Premier League game against Palace. Yes, we still don’t understand how he could return so quickly, either. Also yes: pencil Bruno in today’s lineup, because why not, right Howe?
- It’s all smiles around Tyneside these days with the team achieving fantastic results, sitting in third place in the Premier League table with more than one full round of games played, and still vying for cup success in the Carabao Tourney. Tensions might be brewing behind the scenes, though.
- Why is Howe playing their lads through all possible games and minutes on a weekly basis? Is Howe sending a message to the board to spend now instead of waiting until the summer? Is Howe right about it if that’s the case? Questions, questions...
- The truth is that Newcastle’s rotation is slim at best, and non-existent at worst. Remove Allan Saint-Maximin from the equation, and no other reserve in the Magpies bench would crack the starting XI of any other team in the Premier League. That’s hella telling of the lack of talent sitting in there waiting for a chance.
- On top of that, NUFC are selling subpar-but-warm bodies in the likes of Chris Wood, which I mean, they might not provide a ton of goodies but still make for an option in the need of it.
- Isak is more than worth a starting call. Wilson would hate it, of course, but veteran legs are poised to break at some point. So take measures when you can, Howe!
- I don’t think I need to comment on anything else because the XI isn’t going to change one bit. This is Eddie Howe managing from the sidelines, remember... Joelinton is back to the left-wing position, and Bruno will once more be in the middle flanked by Willock and Longstaff.
- I’m calling Isak in, Wilson out, but I advise you don’t bet your house on it. Remember: Eddie Howe.
CHN Predicted Lineup
DEF Trippier - Schar - Botman - Burn
MID Longstaff - Bruno- Willock
WNG Almiron - Joelinton
- Date: Tuesday, January 24th
- Kick-off: 20:00 BST / 15:00 EST
- Location: St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton (England)
- Broadcasts: DAZN (CAN) — ESPN+ (USA) — Sky Ultra HD, SKY GO Extra, TalkSport Radio UK, Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Main Event, BBC Radio 5 Live (UK)
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Howay the Lads!