The manager of the year award is a prestigious award and one that all managers in the Premier League aspire to claim on their own. Previous winners include the names of Pep Guardiola, Arsene Wenger, Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho, and Sir Alex Ferguson (11 times). Looking at that list, you would think that it is just title winners, but there have also been managers like Tony Pulis, Harry Redknapp, and George Burley who have been recognized for their achievements.
The last Newcastle United manager to win the manager of the year was Alan Pardew in the 2011/12 season when he guided Newcastle to a top 5 finish. Now there are murmurings that Eddie Howe should be named the next manager of the year for the 2021/22 season. His odds have significantly dropped with betting offers today, putting him up there with some of the favorites like Guardiola and Klopp.
Should Howe win despite only being in charge for less than a season?
Howe took over from Steve Bruce, who, if he had stayed in the job, would have been taking Newcastle to the Championship. In November 2021, Howe walked into St.James’ Park with fans quite reserved about the appointment after names like Unai Emery, Frank Lampard, and a return for Rafa Benitez were being mooted.
Howe has grabbed his opportunity to manage in the topflight with both hands and made Newcastle the 5th most in-form side (over the last ten games) in the league behind the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City. For this achievement, Howe was recognized in February as he picked up the Manager of the Month award. His side won 4 out of their 5 games and was unbeaten in February, helping them move away from the dreaded drop.
Is it just the money?
When Howe arrived at Newcastle, he was presented with a war chest. The takeover by a consortium of PCP Capital Partners, Reuben Brothers, and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia was completed in October 2021. It brought much joy to Newcastle fans, who had finally ousted unpopular owner Mike Ashley.
The team was in dire need of investment, and huge names were being linked, ridiculously, may I add. However, Newcastle did strengthen by spending no less than £83 million (plus add-ons) on four new permanent players. They brought in England international Kieran Trippier, Dan Burn, Bruno Guimaraes, Chris Wood, and Matt Targett on loan.
Howe used his money correctly, and rather than splash it all out on one big signing. He covered all bases in the squad which needed repairing.
But Howe has also got the players who were already there under Bruce playing with more confidence and vigor, and they look like a much tighter unit. Players like Joelinton, who now has a box-to-box midfielder, optimize the new life that Howe has brought to St. James’ Park.
Should Howe win it?
It might be too much for him this year with Guardiola and Klopp chasing for the title (and Klopp close to completing a quadruple), but he should well be in the discussion no matter how long he has been in charge of the club. Newcastle is reformed and looks like a completely different entity to that of when Howe took charge.