Newcastle latest news: Sam Allardyce reveals 'surprise' claim involving Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe and Sam Allardyce on the touchline

Newcastle United made a surprising choice when they decided to appoint Eddie Howe as their new manager, according to former Magpies boss Sam Allardyce. 

The ex-Bournemouth boss was recently announced as Steve Bruce's replacement following PIF's takeover of the Tyneside club. 

What's the latest news involving Newcastle and Eddie Howe?

Newcastle's new owners, PIF, elected to hire Howe as the club's new manager earlier this week, signing a contract until summer 2024. 

The Magpies sacked Bruce towards the end of last month with Graeme Jones overseeing draws with Crystal Palace and Brighton, as well as a 3-0 loss to Chelsea. 

It marks a return to management for Howe after going over a year without a job. 

He left Bournemouth in summer 2020 following their relegation to the Championship, with Jason Tindall - now his assistant at St. James' Park - initially replacing him in the Cherries dugout. 

Howe faces a big challenge of steering Newcastle clear of plummeting into the second tier. They're currently 19th in the Premier League and six points away from safety. 

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What has Sam Allardyce said about Eddie Howe?

Speaking on The Football Terrace, Allardyce dubbed Howe a 'surprising choice' for the Newcastle job, but admitted he was pleased to see a British manager get a chance at a major club. 

He told host Terry Flewers: "It’s a surprising choice but I’m very, very pleased for him. A British manager given an opportunity at a Premier League club that’s got a bright future by the looks of it."

Check out what Allardyce said in full in the video below...

Why is Eddie Howe a surprising choice for Newcastle?

It would be wrong to describe Howe as an obscure choice - this is a manager with 543 games in English football under his belt.

Nonetheless, its clear Newcastle originally wanted a more illustrious name. The club initially targeted former Arsenal boss Unai Emery, whose CV includes four Europa League titles and the Ligue 1 title, but he opted to stay at Villarreal. 

Likewise, Howe's time at Bournemouth split opinion. On the one hand, he took a club facing relegation from the Football League to the top flight and kept them there for five seasons. 

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On the other, he certainly wasn't short of financial backing at the Cherries, with over £200m spent during his second spell there, and yet struggled to progress the team from the initial core group of players he worked with in the lower leagues. 

That contradicts the fact Newcastle have the capacity to spend £200m on new signings before breaching FFP, suggesting they would be better off hiring a manager who knows how to get maximum value in the transfer market. 

While Howe has shown his potential as a manager, Newcastle still remain a particularly unique challenge and it remains to be seen whether he's the right man to conquer it. 

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