Newcastle icon Alan Shearer reacts to Eddie Howe arrival with 17-word message to new boss

Steve Bruce leaves position as Newcastle head coach

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Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has sent a welcome message to Eddie Howe after the 43-year-old was appointed as the club’s new manager. Former Bournemouth boss Howe has signed a contract until June 2024 with the Magpies, who sacked Steve Bruce last month.

Howe has been out of management since leaving Bournemouth in August 2020 after the club were relegated from the Premier League.

Newcastle had originally focused on Villarreal manager Unai Emery, but were forced to change tack when the former Arsenal manager decided to stay in Spain.

Howe, who was in the stands for Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Brighton, described the job as a “wonderful opportunity”, but takes over a side who are yet to pick up a win in the league this season.

Newcastle, who have been managed by Bruce’s assistant Graeme Jones for the last three games, are the only winless side in the division and sit 19th, five points from safety after 11 matches this season.

Shearer has been a vocal critic of former owner Mike Ashley, who sacked him as a manager in 2009, and was in favour of the club’s takeover by a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund last month.

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The 51-year-old is the club’s all-time record goalscorer with 206 strikes in 404 appearances and is the team’s most high profile supporter.

He is supportive of Howe’s appointment, tweeting: “Welcome. Good luck Eddie. We all hope you can bring us some much needed drive and ambition.”

Howe will have two weeks to settle into the role over the international break, with his first game in charge at home to Brentford on November 20.

He will have some familiarity with the playing squad, with Newcastle’s Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Matt Ritchie all joining the club from Bournemouth.

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Shearer expanded on his opinion of the appointment on BBC Radio 5 Live.

“They have a guy who knows the league, who knows what it is like in that position,” he said.

“He understands the league and what a big club Newcastle are and he will come back energised and it is a very wise signing.

“Three players in there that worked with him at Bournemouth. [I’m] not too sure how Fraser will react with his ending at Bournemouth, that could be an interesting handshake.”

Shearer said last month that Newcastle had been “existing like zombies exist – half-dead and half-alive” under Ashley’s ownership.

“There has been no identity, no pushing for progress, little to no improvement on infrastructure, investment in players either at the wrong time or on the wrong players, the stadium reduced to a cheap, tatty advert, and dreadful football, some of the worst I can recall,” he wrote for The Athletic.

“I’m genuinely not bothered by wealth, I just want us to feel a connection again, for the owners to try to improve us and for us to get better.

“I think I can speak for most Newcastle fans when I say that.”

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