Simon Jordan has stood by his controversial view on Eddie Howe and believes the Newcastle United head coach will prove to be a ‘gatekeeper’ in the long-term project at St James’ Park. The former Bournemouth boss has led a swift transformation on Tyneside, with the Magpies qualifying for the Champions League a year on from battling relegation.
Howe has received substantial backing in the transfer market, but has also been instrumental in overseeing drastic improvements in a host of first-team stars who pre-date the takeover. Sean Longstaff, Joelinton, Jacob Murphy and Fabian Schar are among those who have elevated their games to match the team’s sudden rise up the table.
Newcastle’s impressive midweek victory at Manchester United means Howe’s team are once again in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals, a year on from their final defeat to the Red Devils. With a quarter-final tie to come at Chelsea next month, the competition represents another chance to end a major trophy drought which dates back to 1969.
Jordan has raised the prospect as to whether winning the Carabao Cup at the expense of maintaining their place in the top four would be considered a successful season for Newcastle. The former Crystal Palace owner then reiterated his view that Howe will ultimately be replaced before the team competes for top honours such as the Premier League.
Jordan told talkSPORT: “Whatever Newcastle win is something they haven’t won in terms of the last 50 years and beyond. You look at that and say if Newcastle bring back one of the significant and recognisable trophies like the League Cup, does it do something for them?
“Did it do something for Swansea? Did it do something for many clubs that have won the League Cup? It is something people can lay claim to and build from. My argument, and it is not seated in absolutes or doubling down on it, but my belief system tells me Newcastle will go on a journey.
“Eddie Howe will be a wonderful part of that journey, but like other football clubs that have required gatekeepers to get you to different waypoints and different benchmarks, Eddie Howe may be one of those. If I’m wrong, I’m happy to back down from that.
“To win the Premier League takes a unique kind of manager, and there ain’t many of them about. He is proving to be a unique manager for Newcastle because that bar hasn’t been set very high recently with all due respect to those who have occupied that seat.
“Perhaps they haven’t had the opportunity or the environment. This fella has both so we will see, but the bottom line is if Newcastle were to finish outside the top four and inside the top six and won a League Cup, would they have done a decent turnaround? I’d say yes, I think it’s a remarkable ask for Newcastle to get in the top four again.”
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