Is Eddie Howe feeling the heat? “Of course he is,” according to George Caulkin and Jacob Whitehead of The Athletic.
This isn’t the same old Newcastle, content with just “ticking along” in the Premier League, wrote the authors of the article over the sports outlet.
The new vision of the club, with the ultimate goal of achieving greatness (read: win titles) in a “five-to-10-year” time frame was articulated by Yasir Al Rumayyan, the chairman of Newcastle United and governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and Amanda Staveley, co-owner of the club, when the takeover was announced in October 2021.
Truth be told, NUFC have done more than enough to consider this new era a success already, or at least a successfully kickstarted one. The club avoided getting relegated in the season of the takeover, then finished in Champions League places last year, and will now compete in the top continental competition for the first time in 20 years, something unthinkable mere months ago.
During Newcastle’s pre-season tour in the United States earlier this summer, Howe emphasized that the pressure he feels is internal: “The pressure I feel is from myself.” He expressed openness to receiving clear objectives from the club’s leadership, stating, “If Yasir could sit me down and have a talk, I would welcome that.”
Howe’s motivation, however, stems from within, as he understands the club’s expectations and ambitions. “If he wanted to give me direct objectives, no problem, that wouldn’t create fear in me. The fear comes from myself,” Howe added.
Dan Ashworth, the sporting director, indicated after he took charge of the position that Newcastle would require “three summer transfer windows to shape the squad” to their desired standard. We’ve just wrapped up the second window after the takeover, as Ashworth was referring to summer periods in which more prominent transactions are completed.
Unlike the Qatari-backed Paris Saint-Germain, Newcastle’s approach is more process-oriented than chasing immediate glory, and it’s surely showing as the club has hit a little bit of a bump in their road to glory by both having an average-to-good transfer window and a horrid-to-mediocre start to the Premier League season.
As for Howe himself, sources suggest a strong bond within the team: “We’re closer than ever,” people working for NUFC told the reporters speaking anonymously. “We’re all delighted with Eddie and proud of the players,” those sources added.
Despite recent challenges, Howe is “confident in his side’s ability,” while he acknowledged “Nothing good comes easy.”
That might be true, but Howe might never reach the point when he can find out as the ax might come his way sooner than anything good arrives at the shores of Newcastle while he’s still on the Magpies' touchline.