Eddie Howe sacked by Newcastle for Jose Mourinho? He would be as popular as Steve Bruce

Eddie Howe sacked by Newcastle for Jose Mourinho? He would be as popular as Steve Bruce

Newcastle lost and there is pressure on Eddie Howe. But is there? And how unlikeable is this version of the Toon?

Send your views on this or any other subject to theeditor@football365.com

Eddie Howe sack? Really?
​After yet another article from yourselves which referenced speculation about Eddie how being sacked, I Googled ‘Eddie Howe sacked’. The top 3 hits were two F365 pieces and Fabrizio Romano explaining that he won’t be sacked.

You lads seem desperate for him to get sacked, specifically Lewis Oldham. It seems like it’s mentioned every time you write about Newcastle.

You’re also desperate for Mourinho to take over, he’d be about as popular as Steve Bruce.
Chris Stockdale

READ: Eddie Howe sack? Ten most brutal mid-season Premier League axeings would need an update

Caicedo should have been sent off
Three minutes into this match, Caicedo should really have been sent off. There was not even slightest attempt the ball which, which was far out of reach, and it was studs up with evident intent to harm. Ah, well, there’s no VAR, rules are rules, and referees have discretion. No use whining [cough]. And I thought Guimaraes could have gone off late on, too.

The ESPN audio feed was abysmal, with the Geordie crowd much more often audible, and the home fans seeming to mostly provide a murmur. Or maybe Stamford Bridge really has that kind of crowd, or that kind of acoustics. Idk, I’ve never been there. Maybe NBC is just getting better feeds for the EPL. My son came in at halftime and noted after about twenty minutes that it was the quietest soccer game he’d ever heard. Still, I could hear the Geordies singing “Heeey, Callum Wilson, I wanna know-ow-ow….”

Livramento’s headed clearance in the 88th minute…yikes. But it might have been a bit of genius, well clear of goal, and out of the reach for the onrushing Mudryk: frightening and astonishing. Another defensive mistake by Trippier had to have hurt his confidence. When penalties came on, I knew he’d step up, and I was almost sure he’d miss. That said, bringing him on at the half was probably the right call: even with Almiron’s help Krafth was having trouble with Raheem Sterling.

I can’t complain about the result, in the end. Chelsea were probably marginally more threatening in the first half, and we conceded all initiative in the second. They did a fantastic job of counterpressing and putting the Mags under pressure in midfield. Longstaff, Guimaraes, and Miley were unable to exert much influence throughout the match.
Chris C, Toon Army DC

…It struck me at the end of the first half between Chelsea and Newcastle that I enjoyed the flow of the game much more without constant VAR intervention. But blimey, Chelsea should be super grateful that it’s not there or they end this half with 9 men. Disgraceful ‘tackles’ from Colwill and Caicedo.
Matt (LFC)

This Newcastle side is a bunch of…
Pleased we won on pens? Yep. Pleased we scored in 90 (ish) mins? Yep. Tired of dominating possession and making stupid mistakes that lead directly to goals despite said domination? Oh hell yep.

But let’s talk Newcastle, referees and rhetoric/media. Because why not?

I can’t remember another team that gets away with it quite like Newcastle. It seems pretty just that the equaliser was scored in the 4 (yes, just FOUR) mins of added time. Dubravka wasted time constantly throughout the game, holding the ball for 15 seconds on multiple occasions (isn’t there a rule that says keepers can only hold the ball for 7 seconds? There used to be…) with no yellow. No punishment.

Newcastle must also be the most fouled team in the league this season, seemingly getting free kicks if anyone dares to breathe on their players. How can a team with just 20% possession over 90mins be fouled 35% more than the other team? It makes no sense.

I’ve seen an actual article on how Caicedo should have been sent off – but nothing on the 95th min assault by Bruno Guimaraes on Maatsen?(Why is every player called Bruno insanely unlikeable? What’s in a name?)

Chelsea yellow cards for diving (not disagreeing with this – I hate it) but Newcastle players diving and rolling around for a full minute is fine!
Talk of Newcastle’s struggles with injuries… but nothing about Chelsea’s struggle with injuries.

Callum Wilson uses a podcast to slate other professionals and spends 20mins out of 90 whining and moaning decides to celebrate his goal and penalty with complete arrogance (incredible finish with the outside of his boot tonight though) and Bruno G (I’ve spoken enough about him) does the same – fingers in ears at his own fans – after a pen in a shootout he then loses.

I guess what I’m asking the mailbox is… am I alone in thinking this bunch are the most difficult and horrible team to play against these days? Completely unlikable. Refs give them an easy ride. Media do too.

I like Eddie Howe and Newcastle fans have always been amazing. Great people. Proper football fans. Best away day I’ve ever had. But this team? Nah.
Ash, Mudryk only cost £62m, CFC, Kent

Man City and tin-pot trophies
Well, a comfortable City win against Urawa Red Diamonds last night puts us in the FIFA Club World Cup Final. This was preceded by the totally unbiased United-supporting Andy Goldstein, on TalkSport, querying whether it was a cup worth winning. Wonder why he would ask that yesterday? I’ll make a stab in the dark and bet he wasn’t saying anything like that back in 2008.

I suppose it’s the same when people question the validity of the Charity Shield (or whatever it’s called now). Because, in both cases, the harsh reality is that you must win a substantial competition beforehand to take part in either. Unless that is, one English team ‘does the Treble.’ But that’s by the by.

If you’re not in either, then clearly, they are worthless tin-pot trophies. As such, I have no doubt F365 will be flooded with mails from both Chelsea and Liverpool fans in agreement that the club world cup competition is a waste of time. No? Is it another FIFA inspired pile of old pants? Yup. But to get there, City had to win the CL. Let your club do that first and then I’ll read any appropriate responses with interest.

In other news, the BBC SPOTY names City as ‘Team of The Year,’ Guardiola ‘Coach of The Year’ and Haaland ‘Star player of The Year.’ So, not a bad night all round really.
Mark (Is there an actual law that states that all Christmas perfume TV ads MUST be both utterly pointless and bat-shit crazy? And just who watches any of them and thinks “Ooooh, I must buy that to make my life better”?). MCFC

Somebody got very bored at work…
I got bored at work and decided to make a top 8 best XI ranking. Each position will be graded from 1-8, with the best player in that position at 1. Teams judged are Arsenal, City, Spurs, United, Villa, LFC, Newcastle and Chelsea. I will then add the totals to determine who has the best XI overall. Rankings are determined in part with Whoscored ratings, this & last season performances, and some bias of my own.

Gk: Allison, Ederson, Onana, Vicario, Martinez, Raya, Pope, Sanchez
LB: Robertson, Shaw, Gvardiol, Udogie, Zinchenko, Chilwell, Digne, Burn
RB: Walker, TAA, Trippier, Porro, James, White, Dalot, Cash
CB: Dias, Romero, Maguire, Konate, Gabriel, Schar, Carlos, Badiashile
BCB: VVD, Saliba, Stones, VDV, Torres, Martinez, Botman, Silva
CDM: Rodri, Rice, Luiz, Bissouma, Cas, Caicedo, Tonali, Endo
CM: Silva, McAllister, Joelinton, Kamara, Fernandez, Sarr, Havertz, Mount
CAM: KDB, Fernandes, Odegaard, Madison, Guimares, Szoboszlai, Nkuku, McGinn
RW: Salah, Saka, Alverez, Sterling, Kulusevski, Diaby, Almiron, Antony
LW: Son, Grealish, Martinelli, Diaz, Rashford, Gordon, Bailey, Mudryk
CF: Haaland, Watkins, Jesus, Isak, Richardlison, Jackson, Nunez, Hojlund

Man City: 19
LFC: 37
Arsenal: 37
Spurs: 43
United: 57
Villa: 62
Newcastle: 63
Chelsea: 71

Conclusions: No surprises City has the strongest collective XI by some stretch. LFC and Arsenal seem evenly matched, with Arsenal’s defense and LFC”s attack letting them down comparatively. Spurs are the team with the most fourth placed players – a sign to come perhaps.

United scored pretty badly, despite some generous rankings – no thanks in small part to the form of Hojlund, Mount and Antony. Villa did much worse than expected, potentially identifying ominous times to come. Newcastle seem very similar to Villa in that they have some great players surrounded by some “They get the job done” players and a solid manager. Chelsea’s total sums up maybe gives credence to the idea Pcoh is doing better than can be expected.

I was very surprised at the quality of strikers available currently – They have nothing on the 2003 vintage of Henry, RVN, Owen, Shearer, Viduka, Hasselbaink, Zola, Robbie Keane and James Beattie.

Now, back to work..

Eighteen minutes later…
That last email got me thinking about how football has changed over the years. 2003 had such a strong vintage of players that we won’t likely see again. Back in the 4-4-2 days you had wingers whipping it into the box for the big man/small man combo, and it was very entertaining – as a list of the top goalscorers from that year will attest.

Then along came Mourinho with his structured 4-3-3, and things were never truly the same again. He set PL records for goals conceded and points gained – and we were all stunned. Pep then came along with an equally structured, but more free flowing version of total football – we were again stunned. While Mourinho’s sides were very effective, they also took a lot of the passion and flair out of the game, and Pep did very similarly. Both would allow one or two players some freedom, but by and large, you had to follow the system. I recall Theiry Henry and Joe Cole saying more or less the same thing about each manager, despite their obvious talents.

Then along came Klopp with his “Rock & Roll” football, and the Peps and Mourinhos of the world had to adapt their systems to include even more running. This was very exciting in the beginning as nobody was really doing it, and it was so hard to stop. Klopp’s LFC 2018-20 was the next team to bring me to the Jose/Pep level of astonishment.

That for me was the completion of football going from a sport of flair, passion and skill, to a more structured, physical, semi-handicapped and requisite approach to getting results. Now that most teams have modernized to these levels, its now changed the game into an almost different sport.

I watched the Newcastle highlights on the weekend, and they pretty much just ran the ball into the net for each of their 3 goals (take a look – it’s kind of funny). Games are now won by teams running, or by the opposition being forced into mistakes or giving away penalties for being too slow. Would the Zolas and RVN’s of yesteryear be as potent in the modern game? I’m not so sure..

Twenty-three minutes later…
Oh, and why not – Managers ranked:

1) Pep
2) Klopp
3) Emery
4) Arteta
5) ETH
6) Postecoglou
7) Poch
8) Howe

Pep really has no modern peers in the PL. Klopp’s teams have been second best during the Pep years, but he has pushed them to their heights and actually won the league.

Emery is criminally underrated and has an unbelievable track record. Arteta takes fourth due to modern finishes and an FA cup win. ETH is fourth based on points gained since he joined, winning the league cup, getting an FA cup final and ECL Semi – all without an actual goalscorer.

The next three were more challenging as there are no significant silverware to mention. Postecoglou takes it down to current season style and performance, combined with his Celtic years. Poch just tips Howe as for me he is considered elite or just below it, and he reached an UCL final, whereas Howe has maxed out in the capital one cup loss.
Calvinho (I’ll stop now.)

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