Newcastle United

Newcastle must learn from Leeds model and back Eddie Howe now

Graeme Bailey
Eddie Howe needs backing by the club's owners
Eddie Howe needs backing by the club's owners / George Wood/GettyImages

Newcastle United and Eddie Howe gave themselves a real boost on Saturday with victory at Leeds, but the job of staying in the Premier League is far from realised.

And now that the players and Howe are stepping up, the club’s new owners need to match them.

The richest club in the world were tipped to make a big impact in their first transfer window and it was clear they had ideas of being Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, and that still may come to pass.

However, right now they should probably be looking at the Leeds United model instead.

With just over a week left in the transfer window, Newcastle have managed to broker just one deal for manager Howe, himself appointed in November with the promise of investment.

They landed Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid, a deal many - quite rightly - have applauded for getting over the line.

A deal for Chris Wood was also finalised but that was a release clause being triggered, so no negotiating was required.

Howe has been and remains desperate for more players and it is clear he believed he would have more options available to him by this point in January.

When taking charge of the club, Newcastle’s new owners - the Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben Brothers - admitted they need to correct things after the Mike Ashley years.

The new regime used former chief Lee Charnley to interview Howe and appoint him as Steve Bruce’s successor, but then they let him go.

Amanda Staveley
Staveley in the crowd / Stu Forster/GettyImages

However, they have yet to replace him, instead using Amanda Staveley and her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi - who is a partner at PCP.

They are managing the club on a day-to-day basis, and it is showing with their lack of football knowledge and management harming their ambitions.

A new director of football was high on their wanted list but thus far they have not managed to move forward with one - instead bringing in a temporary advisor in Nick Hammond, and other footballing figures.

But it is not working and it is clear to see why. It need not be this way - just look at Saturday's opponents Leeds. Yes, Newcastle got the better of them on the pitch - but off it they need to take a close look.

After a dismal spell under Massimo Cellino - a hugely unpopular figure who you could liken to Ashley - the club was bought by Andrea Radrizzani.

Radrizzani is as powerful a figurehead, probably more so than anyone at Newcastle - but did he try and do it himself? Did he attempt to broker transfer deals? Did he pick targets for the club? No.

Instead, the Italian went out and made quick and appropriate appointments with Victor Orta arriving as director of football, Ivan Bravo coming in as director of strategy and Angus Kinnear appointed chief executive.

Radrizzani knew he had the knowledge to run a club of that size - a one city club, almost unparalleled in terms of potential, perhaps bar one...Newcastle United.

Eddie Howe said this week: "It's been frustrating in the transfer market. We know we are against a deadline and we're desperately trying to improve the squad.

“We're working very hard behind the scenes.”

Meanwhile, Marcelo Bielsa was saying this about Orta and those above him: “He's found the players that adapt to the way of playing of Leeds. The majority of them are young and the players that have arrived here, they are usually worth more after they have been here.

“That means he picked players with a margin of growth for the potential to be better. He's a person who knows the market very well with regards to young players in different countries."

Marcelo Bielsa
Marcela Bielsa has backing from his board / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

Now, Newcastle have to act while there is still time left in the window, because while they took the three points at Leeds with this squad, they will need more to stay up.

The players are clearly behind Howe, as they showed at Elland Road, and now the others at the club have to stand up and back their boss too.