Former agent with Saudi links discusses Eddie Howe’s position

It’s been a fairly turbulent time for Eddie Howe at Newcastle United.

The Magpies and their supporters were looking forward to what was expected to be a vintage 2023/24 campaign, but it’s turned out to be anything but.

With only a handful of matches left in the season, there’s still no guarantee that Newcastle will be in Europe next season, and that has to be a disappointment for the club’s owners, the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

They have ploughed millions into the club since taking over, in stark contrast to former owner, Mike Ashley, but still there’s no silverware in sight.

Eddie Howe is still the man for Newcastle

The pressure on Howe, therefore, must be immense, and former super agent, Jon Smith, who has direct links to movers and shakers in Saudi Arabia, has spoken about the likelihood of Howe being kept on at St. James’ Park.

“The supporters reading this will know that the best chance of putting together a team and a system, and the variety of systems that play within it, is at the beginning of pre-season,” he told CaughtOffside for his exclusive column.

“If a manager has a bad start but they’re allowed to get through to November before a change occurs, that’s not great for anyone for obvious reasons. In some cases the change happens as early as late August!

“I think Eddie Howe is a very good manager and the Saudi Public Investment Fund will know that a question of whether to replace him is a very, very difficult one for them to answer.

“He’s had a few months of unfortunate injuries and so if it was me, I wouldn’t knee jerk. I would take the risk, and I hope the Saudis will do the same. I think they probably will.

“They’re in it for the long game so my guess is that they’ll let Howe and his team hang around for a little while longer.”

Eddie Howe’s job at Newcastle United is not in doubt.

It does make a refreshing change to see a set of owners that are not only willing to back their manager financially, but also give him the benefit of the doubt when things aren’t going so well.

The injuries that Newcastle have suffered this season have been extensive, and to that end, there are very cogent reasons why the Magpies just haven’t been able to get any sort of consistency.

Far too often these days, owners wield the axe in the wake of a few poor performances and results, without looking into the circumstances surrounding the same.

Eddie Howe’s brand of football is dynamic and exciting, and a full St. James’ Park most weekends is testament to the enjoyment his side brings to the locals.

At least PIF appear savvy enough to understand that and give the manager a little while longer to get things right.

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