This was a game, on paper that Newcastle would've targeted as an opportunity to turn their dreadful away form around. However, anyone who has watched Luton at home will know it was never going to be an easy ride, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Manchester City have all struggled at Kenilworth Road this season.
Newcastle have struggled on the road, but not all of their away performances have been terrible, this one, however, could not be excused. Under Eddie Howe, Newcastle have always shown grit, fight, and determination even in defeat. Against Luton, they showed absolutely nothing.
Yes, Newcastle still have several injuries, but that has been the case for the majority of the season and this was perhaps one of their worst showings of the campaign. Luton did to Newcastle, what Newcastle had done to the majority of teams last season, physical and pressed hard, and Newcastle had no answer to it.
This is the toughest test of Howe's tenure at Newcastle, make no mistake about that. The Jose Mourinho rumors have already reared their head, and should Newcastle continue their poor form, those noises will get louder and louder. One thing Howe deserves is time, the progress he's made with the club over the last two years has been remarkable and he deserves the time and chance to turn it around.
The club should not be hasty and pull the trigger at the first sign of trouble, Howe is the right man for now and the future. Bringing in Mourinho would be a step backward for the club. Despite his incredible record, Mourinho is not the right man to lead this set of Newcastle players, maybe in the future, but certainly not now.
Howe will hope for investment in January, and if the owners weren't on high alert for new players, the performance at Luton will certainly change their minds. It was a gutless display, one not seen since the days of Steve Bruce, which is perhaps the most worrying thing about it.
Thankfully for Newcastle, their next game is back at the comfort of St James' Park against Nottingham Forest. However, their next away games will strike fear into them, as it doesn't look as though it will get any easier for them with trips to Liverpool, Sunderland, and Aston Villa all on the horizon. Failure to beat Forest and defeats against Liverpool and Sunderland would really ramp up the pressure on Howe.
These are testing times indeed, and things need to change, quickly.