Graeme Souness and Alan Pardew have both backed Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe to win the Premier League’s manager of the season award.
Newcastle currently lie in third place in the table as the Magpies bid to return to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years. There may still be four games to go but to put that turnaround into perspective, Newcastle finished 11th last season after Howe took over a side who were winless and second from bottom in November, 2021.
Although Newcastle have spent money, that is no guarantee of success as Chelsea’s recent splurge has proved and it is worth pointing out that Howe has lifted a number of individuals he inherited to new heights, including Fabian Schar, Sean Longstaff, Joe Willock, Joelinton, Miguel Almiron and Jacob Murphy. Indeed in last week’s game against title-chasing Arsenal, half of the players who featured were already at the club when Howe was appointed and Souness has certainly taken note.
“I would go for Eddie Howe,” the former Newcastle manager told Off the Ball. “Not the best in the world, but you’re talking the Premier League.
“Is it a surprise if [Man] City win the league? If [Mikel] Arteta were to win it, there would be an argument for him to win the manager of the year but say Arsenal don’t win it and City win it, there’s a real argument for Eddie Howe at Newcastle.
“You think of what he’s done to Almiron, Joelinton. You’re thinking, ‘The Premier League is too tough for you. You better find another home.’ He’s turned them into real Premier League players. He’s done very well.”
Another former Newcastle boss, Alan Pardew, has said as much and those words carry weight. Howe’s team, after all, will be the first in black and white to play in Europe since Pardew led Newcastle to fifth in 2012.
Having won the manager of the year award, himself, after taking the Magpies into the Europa League, Pardew has backed Howe to follow in his footsteps.
“Eddie Howe is the manager of the season,” the 61-year-old told the Times. “Newcastle have spent £200 million – that I didn’t get by the way – but they’ve spent it wisely.
“Losing a cup final can be a big blow but Howe went back to the league and started winning again. I’m a little bit biased because I have a soft spot for Newcastle, but he would be my choice.”
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