MARTIN KEOWN: Eddie Howe can be Newcastle United's saviour

MARTIN KEOWN: Only one side have gone winless in their opening 13 Premier League games and survived… but Eddie Howe can be Newcastle United’s saviour

  • Only Derby in 2001 have gone winless in their opening 13 games and survived
  • Newcastle United are in a perilous position ahead of their game with Arsenal
  • They also have mammoth matches against Norwich and Burnley to follow
  • Newcastle simply have to win if they are to get themselves out of trouble 

Only one side have gone winless in their opening 13 Premier League games and survived — Derby County in 2001.

Newcastle United are in a perilous position. Fail to win at Arsenal and they’re on 13, too, with mammoth matches against Norwich and Burnley to follow. These are games which Newcastle simply have to win if they are to get themselves out of trouble.

Already the Toon Army faithful have been given a taste of the different direction that Eddie Howe wants to take them in. In Steve Bruce’s last game in charge, Newcastle mustered a single shot on target. In Howe’s first, they managed nine on target, and 23 in total. They crossed the ball more than in any other game this season and got forward in numbers.

Only one side have gone winless in their opening 13 Premier League games and survived — Derby County in 2001 (above) 

Newcastle United (above) are in a perilous position ahead of their game with Arsenal

Howe hasn’t had time to work with his new players properly after testing positive for Covid. That’s a shame for him because as the man in charge of the only side winless in England’s top four tiers, he knows there’s plenty to fix.

Howe has already told his players that they must see more of the ball. Against Brentford last week, Newcastle had more than 50 per cent possession in a match for the first time since August. That doesn’t mean we should expect them to turn up at the Emirates Stadium and suddenly dominate.

Newcastle’s primary game plan against Arsenal will be to make themselves tough to beat — but to get joy out of using Allan Saint-Maximin on the break.

The Toon fans have been given a taste of the direction that Eddie Howe wants to take them in

In Steve Bruce’s last game in charge, Newcastle mustered a single shot on target. In Howe’s first, they managed nine on target, and 23 in total

No Premier League player has carried the ball further than him this season. He carries, creates, assists and scores.

Howe described Jonjo Shelvey as an ‘incredible technician’ in his press conference, highlighting him as someone who can play passes all over the pitch. He will want Shelvey to apply that range of passing he’s noticed in training into the match proper and be playing in Saint-Maximin.

That is how Newcastle will plan to punish an Arsenal team who were taught a lesson by Liverpool last week.

Jurgen Klopp’s players are experts in suffocating the opposition by pressing high up the pitch, and the determination of Mikel Arteta’s side to play out from the back was punished at Anfield.

Howe has already told his players that they must see more of the ball going forwards 

They lacked composure and confidence and it screamed of an accident waiting to happen against a press as outstanding as Liverpool’s. Eventually Nuno Tavares lost possession in front of the Arsenal box to concede the second of their four goals.

It was a difficult afternoon for Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga, who didn’t deal well with the pressure they were put under. They are young and will learn.

Now it is about how they and the team bounce back.

Arsenal cannot let that defeat derail them. Arteta will be calling on his side to respond and add to Newcastle’s misery at the bottom of the Premier League.

Howe will also look to get the most out of star player Allan Saint-Maximin on the break




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