Eddie Howe’s first 100 Newcastle games: Team and club reinvigorated and ready to move on


At the end of Eddie Howe’s 100th Premier League game in charge of Newcastle United, there was no fear at Turf Moor, nor was there any hunger for the full match. His team led 3-0 at halftime and moved back to sixth place in the table.

Burnley were Howe’s rivals, as was his first win at Newcastle, but the situation in the manager’s fourth and 100th top-flight game with the club was almost incomparable.

Newcastle United were bottom of the league when they hosted Burnley on December 4, 2021, without a win after 14 games (including Howe’s opening three) and six points adrift of safety. Howe guided the Tyneside club to their 49th Premier League win in Saturday’s return, Newcastle’s highest number of wins in the top flight in the modern era, second only to Kevin Keegan (143 games) during his first spell as manager. 54.5% of them).

Newcastle manager PL record

manager game victory lottery loss winning rate

Kevin Keegan(1996-97)

143

78

30

35

54.5%

Eddie Howe(2021-)

100

49

twenty four

27

49.0%

Bobby Robson(1999-2004)

188

83

51

54

44.1%

Glenn Roeder(2006-07)

52

twenty one

11

20

40.4%

Alan Pardew(2010-14)

155

58

34

63

37.4%

“I clearly remember my first win,” Howe said Competitor Callum Wilson scored the only goal late in the first half. “I just looked at the referee and thought, ‘Please blow the whistle.'” We felt like we needed it, the whole club. It’s been a glorious ride ever since. We loved every second of the game and hope there are many more to come.

Only Sir Bobby Robson (188 appearances), Keegan (162 appearances over two games) and Alan Pardew (155 games) have managed Newcastle more in the Premier League, given his success to date. Howe believed, correctly, that he could eclipse them all.


Judging from Howe’s 49 wins, Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta respectively achieved 54 and 53 wins in their first 100 league games coaching Liverpool and Arsenal, but their The starting point is higher.

Howe’s Newcastle Premier League stats

Metric Hao

game

100

victory

49

lottery

twenty four

loss

27

Target

178

Goals per game

1.78

Number of goals scored

127

Goals per game

1.27

goal difference

51

integral

171

points per game

1.71

winning rate

49%

loss percentage

27%

Howe had just one win against Burnley in his first nine league games. He inherited a team that seemed destined for relegation, with little development since promotion in the summer of 2017 and four seasons under Rafael Benitez and Steve Bruce subsequently raising concerns about a possible return to the EFL. Sex is filled with fear.

Howe’s side are bottom of Newcastle United after 11 games of the 2021-22 season, with the sixth-best record in the top flight with 27 games remaining. That level has been maintained and, after surging to fourth last season, Newcastle United are sixth this season with three games remaining – the highest point in the top flight in all competitions for 30 months. The fifth ranking is one position lower.

Even taking into account the post-acquisition investment, few would argue that he had the fifth-best roster in the division during that time.

Premier League standings, 08/01/21-10/05/24

Location team played victory lottery loss Target Number of goals scored goal difference integral

1

100

75

16

9

258

86

172

Chapter 241

2

101

68

12

twenty one

224

106

118

216

3

101

64

twenty three

14

219

100

119

215

4

100

53

16

31

199

145

54

175

5

100

49

twenty four

27

178

127

51

171

6

100

50

20

30

148

138

10

170

7

101

48

No. 19

34

162

133

29

163

8

100

39

29

32

157

135

twenty two

146

9

100

38

29

33

155

142

13

143

10

101

34

27

40

145

148

-3

129

Only Manchester City (75 wins), Arsenal (68), Liverpool (64), Tottenham Hotspur (53) and Manchester United (50) have won more, and of those five clubs Only the top three teams have lost fewer games than Newcastle’s 27 games. Newcastle United is the fifth-highest scoring team (178 goals), and of all the participating teams, only the top three overall teams have conceded fewer than 127 goals.

The difference compared to Howe’s previous 100 games was staggering.

Newcastle United won 29 games and lost 43 games between January 30, 2019 and February 3, 2021. Among the 15 permanent teams, Newcastle United (115 points) ranks 14th, only higher than Brighton (108 points) in accumulated points. They rank 11th in goals scored (117), with only Southampton (163) scoring more than their 159 goals.

To highlight Newcastle’s meteoric rise under Howe, we can take a look at their ClubElo rating – a measure of team strength that assigns points to the results of each game and is weighted by the quality of the opposition faced.

As the chart shows, the team has made steady progress following performances that led to relegation for much of the 2015-16 season under Steve McClaren. This progress accelerated once Howe took over, and although there has been a recent decline, performance levels have improved significantly.

This is further reflected in Newcastle United’s 10-game rolling average of expected goals (xG) over four seasons – a measure of the quality of chances created and conceded.

In Bruce’s final season, the chances Newcastle lost were worth far more than the chances they created. This negative gap briefly widened under Howe, but within a few months he reversed the trend, with Newcastle averaging over 1.5 expected goals for much of the 2022-23 season, while their Expected goals average (xGA) is often below 1.0.

That continued throughout the first third of the 2023-24 season, before conceding chances increased dramatically, although Newcastle have become more consistent again in recent games.

When Howe took over from Bruce, he immediately worked to eliminate the negative mentality that often existed at the club and invested time and energy into fostering a winning culture. A leadership group consisting of Kieran Trippier, Jamal Lascelles, Dan Byrne, Matt Ritchie and Wilson was formed, while the training ground environment was revamped. After the victory, the team took a group photo in the locker room.

Before Howe arrived, Newcastle had won just 47 of their first 163 league games since promotion. To match Howe’s 49 wins, the time frame would have to be extended to April 2016, before the most recent relegation. In 166 games, Newcastle achieved 49 top-flight wins, a win rate of 29.5%.

At St James’ Park, Howe’s statistics were even more impressive.

He has won 31 of 51 home games (60.8%) – as many as Newcastle United had achieved in their previous 85 games at their own stadium – and lost seven. Despite poor away form this season, Howe has won 18 of 49 away games (36.7%), the same number as Newcastle’s previous 80 games.

But Howe not only reshaped the results but also improved the methods.

Under Benitez and successor Bruce, Newcastle almost exclusively adopted a low counter-attacking style, using a back five. While Howe initially prioritized a “simple” game plan to help maintain their top-flight status, he used his first pre-season to overhaul the team’s set-up.

The core principles of Howe’s philosophy are high pressure, high intensity, a higher defensive line than before, and a desire to proactively create opportunities. He typically deploys a 4-3-3 formation, although that plan can be subtly adjusted depending on the opposition, and he has also played with a back three and a 4-4-2 recently.

The graphic below charts the evolution of Newcastle’s playing style over five years from the Bruce era to the Howe era.

Broken down into defensive, possession, progress and attacking metrics, it outlines Newcastle United’s performance compared to every team in Europe’s seven major domestic leagues. Output is expressed as percentiles – for example, 90th percentile means that this team’s indicator is better than 90% of the teams in Europe.

Overall, that trend has increased significantly under Howe, with a significantly taller back line and a massive increase in intensity, going from the first percentile in Bruce’s debut season to 81st this season.

Newcastle have become more possession-based rather than just transitional and territorial, with an increase in their ‘field tilt’, a measure of final pitch compared to their opponents One third of the pass share. Their attack has improved in terms of chance creation and shot quality, while they are more attacking rather than primarily counter-attacking.

Defensively, Newcastle United did solidify their performance last season, when they had the best record in the Premier League (33 goals), but their chances of conceding have increased compared to the previous season under Bruce.

A never-ending injury crisis has eroded Newcastle’s stability, with the long-term absences of Nick Pope, Joelinton and Sven Botman particularly damaging.


After the acquisition, Newcastle invested approximately 415 million pounds ($518.3 million) in transfers to improve the quality of the player team.

Yet United and Chelsea have outspent them and, in January, were so close to the limits of the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR) that they looked to sell rather than buy. Howe has repeatedly stressed that the nickname “the richest club in the world” is unrealistic, even though Newcastle are now 80% owned by Saudi Arabia’s ultra-rich national Public Investment Fund (PIF).

While Howe has undoubtedly benefited greatly from the arrivals of Trippier, Bruno Guimarães, Alexander Isak and Botman, in terms of improving the overall quality of the squad, business last summer did not have the expected impact. Recruiting has been excellent for the most part.

But most impressive is how Howe elevated players like Anthony Gordon and transformed the players he inherited.

In terms of the most league minutes played for Newcastle in Howe’s era, four of the top seven came before the club took over: Fabian Schaal, Joelinton, Sean Longstaff and Miguel · Almiron.

Schaal was the centre-back who was considered unable to play in a back four during Bruce’s tenure, but he made the most appearances, making 93 appearances in the league, starting all of them. Meanwhile, Joelinton was a failed center, but he was transformed into a strong B2B midfielder. Joe Willock, Jacob Murphy, Emil Krafth and Lascelles are others who have clearly developed.

Howe has 23 league goalscorers under his belt, 19 of them this season – Wilson (31) and Isaac (30) unsurprisingly top the list, ahead of Guimarães and Almiron (15) ball).

In February last year, Howe led Newcastle United to the cup final for the first time since 1999, and also brought the club back to the Champions League after 20 years. Despite exiting the group stage amid the worst injuries, Newcastle United have reached the quarter-finals of two domestic cup competitions and are expected to compete in continental competition again next season.

To progress further, Howe must lead Newcastle into the next stage of their development. The team must be renewed and deepened, and he must learn how to cope with the extra demands of midweek European football.

Arguably, there were few better coaches than Howe because he had a week to prepare between games. But he’ll have to adjust his approach to the extra games, especially given the injury issues this season.

Howe is extremely picky and has an insatiable desire for self-improvement. He will do whatever it takes to secure Newcastle’s first major trophy since 1969 and ensure his century of Premier League history turns into multiple centuries.

(Top photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)





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