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Jonathan Woodgate Exclusive: Howe To Manage England

Jonathan Woodgate Exclusive: Howe To Manage England

Former Newcastle United and England defender Jonathan Woodgate has claimed that Magpies’ boss Eddie Howe will manage England one day. Howe took Bournemouth from League One to the Premier League in the space of three seasons – and kept them there for five years, before leaving after their relegation in 2020. The 44-year-old joined Newcastle in November 2021 and has guided his new side out of the relegation zone and up to 14th in the Premier League. Woodgate has been impressed by Howe’s impact at Newcastle so far and believes he is on the right track to eventually securing the country’s top job.


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Started Well

Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: “I think when [Howe] first went [to Newcastle], it wasn’t easy. He had a transfer window which helped. 

“He’s got good players and he got good characters in. And he’s done an exceptional job.

“He’s got them out of the relegation zone. I like the signings of [Kieran] Trippier and Dan Burn, they’ve been exceptional - I know Trippier’s injured but even though he’s injured, he’ll still give you that leadership around the club. 

“I can guarantee those training sessions they’re doing are intense. I had one of his coaches when I was at Bournemouth, Stephen Purches. His sessions were brilliant, really intense. 

“He’s turned the club around and I hope they stick with him for as long as they can, because he’s an exceptional young English manager who one day will manage England in my view. I think he’s that good. 

“The job he did at Bournemouth, bringing them all the way through the leagues, to the Premier League, staying in the Premier League for five seasons, he will be England Manager one day. 

“Newcastle must stick with him. They must back him. Give him money for signings, because he’ll do a good job.”

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Eye For Talent

Woodgate highlighted Howe’s knack for identifying talent and maximising a player’s skill set – pointing out Joelinton’s transformation as an example.

“[Joelinton] came from Hoffenheim as a £40 million striker,” he continued. “I didn’t see him as that player, I didn’t think he was clinical enough, and he was in and out of the team. 

“When you go to Newcastle and you put the iconic No9 shirt on, it becomes difficult because they’ve had legends in that role. 

“I mean the main man, Alan Shearer, the top Premier League goalscorer, it’s a burden on you. It’s like when you go to Man Utd and put No7 on. It’s difficult.

“For Eddie Howe to identify that he can play as a No8, just shows how much of a good coach he is. He’s identified attributes that Joelinton’s got, put it into practice, and it showed that he can carry that ball up the pitch. 

“He can press, he’s aggressive. He’s got that eye for a goal, as a No8, but not prolific as a No9. 

“Joelinton has been a revelation for me. I’ve watched them a few times this season and he’s been the one player who’s looked outstanding. 

“Dan Burn as well. Signing him from Brighton, Eddie must have done his homework on him. 

“He’s relentless when it comes to getting players in and looking at what attributes they have. Burn’s come in to Newcastle and he’s been one of the top signings.

“You’ve got to have a balance in your squad of senior players, young players and players who are reaching their prime. 

“You’ve got to do your homework when recruiting. You’ve got to know personalities. You’ve got to know family background, any problems that they may have had. You have to know everything. 

“Liverpool are a great example of a club that gets recruitment right, they are meticulous. I had the pleasure of working there [as a scout] for eight months and learnt a hell of a lot. 

“I’m sure Eddie Howe will be the same. You have to be meticulous. You have to know the characters that you’re bringing into the building. 

“If a player turns up, and he’s disruptive and he’s getting left out of the team, what’s his attitude going to be like? The next minute, you’ve got four players who have a clique and then it gets difficult. 

“If you have senior professionals, the likes of Trippier, Dan Burn, [Jamaal] Lascelles, who can then stitch a dressing room together, it’s always a positive. 

“Leaders are massively important. Having senior pros in your football club that set the standard each day is huge.”

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Measured Recruitment

But Woodgate has dismissed the idea that Newcastle will make a flurry of big-name signings next summer, suggesting the Magpies will be more measured in their recruitment.

“I think they’ll sign players from teams that are between eighth and fifth in the league,” he explained. 

“I don’t see them getting Champions League players yet, I really don’t. I know they’ve got Trippier, but he wanted to come back to England. 

“Leaving Atletico Madrid, you’re leaving Champions League football. To really get top players, they’ll need a couple of seasons and will need to develop as a club. 

“If you get all these players in at once, does it always work? I’m not so sure. They’ll have to be meticulous about who they sign and what positions they go for.” 

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