One of the leading contenders to be crowned the Premier League’s ‘manager of the season’ is Eddie Howe but that won’t make him immune from being sacked at the end of the season.
That is the view of former Aston Villa and Liverpool star Stan Collymore, who believes Newcastle United’s owners would have ‘a conversation’ about the possibility of sacking the Englishman, even if the club qualify for the Champions League.
Howe, 45, since taking over at St James’ Park just over 12 months ago has been a revelation.
Reinventing the club’s fortunes, as well as developing previously out-of-form players, such as Miguel Almiron and Joelinton, Howe’s first full season in the Northeast appears on course to go down as a campaign to remember.
Following a monumental run that has seen the Geordies lose just once this season, the team now sit inside the league’s top four and are therefore contenders to qualify for next year’s Champions League.
However, despite the hugely positive impact Howe is having, Collymore thinks that the 45-year-old’s job would be far from safe, even if he were to give Newcastle Champions League football for the first time since 2004.
Stan Collymore on Eddie Howe…
“Newcastle United may be one of the only clubs able to hire and fire their manager at will and that’s because they have endless amounts of money to spend,” Collymore said in an exclusive interview.
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“Don’t get me wrong, I know Eddie Howe is doing an absolutely phenomenal job there but if the Magpies do qualify for the Champions League, I’m sure the owners will at least have the conversation about sacking him and bringing someone else in with pre-established European pedigree.
“In terms of Howe’s experience of managing a club competing on multiple domestic and European fronts, he doesn’t have any. Maybe the owners will say ‘he’s done so well, we’ll give him a chance’ – but I do really believe they’ll consider parting ways in favour of a manager who has the experience that Howe lacks because if you’re Newcastle United and suddenly you’re in the Champions League, why on earth wouldn’t you consider going out and trying to bring in a top, top manager?
“I think it’d be incredibly naive of Newcastle United’s owners to not consider sacking Howe if they qualified for the Champions League.”
Acknowledging the magnitude of his prediction, Collymore also admitted that he would prefer it if Newcastle stuck by their manager and gave him the chance to manage the club in Europe’s most prestigious competition.
“I want to stress though – I really hope that wouldn’t happen. I’d love Howe to be given the chance to try his hand at the Champions League if he gets Newcastle that far but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if it did,” he added.
What do you think? – If Newcastle did qualify for the Champions League, should Howe keep his job, or should Newcastle’s hierarchy look to bring in a manager with more experience in Europe? – Let us know in the comments.