Eddie Howe reveals he read Pep Guardiola’s book searching for the tiny details that make the Manchester City boss so successful as Newcastle prepare to take on the Premier League title chasers
- Newcastle make the trip to title-chasing Manchester City on Sunday afternoon
- Eddie Howe has elevated the Magpies from 19th to comfortably mid-table
- Only City and Liverpool have enjoyed better results than Newcastle in 2022
- Howe said he read ‘Pep Confidential’ when Guardiola was at Bayern Munich
- He was looking for tiny insights into what makes ‘incredible football brain’ tick
For all the intricacies of modern football management, Eddie Howe argues that the fundamental values remain the same.
To that end, his and Pep Guardiola’s absolute immersion in their trade is the key to success, says the Newcastle boss.
The younger man has even read his opposite number’s book – Pep Confidential – in a bid to extract the tiniest detail to aid his work.
Eddie Howe (left) and Pep Guardiola will go head-to-head on Sunday as Newcastle United make the trip to Premier League title chasers Manchester City
Howe has transformed Newcastle from relegation fodder to comfortably mid-table
‘It’s very different, but the fundamentals are probably the same,’ said Howe, exploring the changes in his profession during his 27 years as player and coach.
‘When I came in as a footballer, it was about hard work, it was about discipline, a little bit of sacrifice in there. You had to condition your life around football.
‘I loved it, and I loved making those decisions early in my life – that I’m going to give my life to football to try to be the best I can be.
‘I think the principle behind that has not changed. Now, I’m asking my players to do exactly the same thing. What happens on the training pitches compared to then is very different, but the actual principles behind success are exactly the same.’
Howe has certainly enjoyed success since the turn of the year. Indeed, only Sunday’s opponents City and Liverpool have a better record than his side in 2022.
Newcastle celebrate Joelinton’s goal during their 3-0 win over Norwich late last month
During his 15 months out of the game between jobs at Bournemouth and now Newcastle, the 44-year-old sought all manner of methods to improve himself as a manager.
‘I read one of Pep’s books, when he was at Bayern Munich,’ revealed Howe. ‘He’s someone who has an incredible football brain.
‘His training is something I’ve never seen, but you can tell by watching his teams play that he’s meticulous on the training ground. He’s a detailed man and his teams play in that way.’
Was Pep’s book more manual than poolside read?
‘It’s definitely not a holiday read, getting lost in it in an enjoyment way,’ said Howe.
City hammered Newcastle 4-0 at St James’ Park back in December but the Toon have improved
‘It’s more you’re trying to pick out things that you think are relevant for you and your team. Educating yourself on a boarder subject in terms of him, I think it was useful.
‘His teams have a very efficient way of playing and a lot of patterns that he uses – you sort of know what’s coming, but it’s very difficult to stop.
‘I’d say that’s probably what I’ve taken (from it), the repetitions of how they play and how effective they are.’
Such efficiency has been replicated at Newcastle this season with Howe taking the team from 19th to the comfort of mid-table since November.
Liverpool stumbled in the title race as they could only draw 1-1 with Spurs on Saturday night
‘Yes, I’d say we have been very efficient, especially out of possession,’ he said. ‘We’ve tried to make it quite simple for the players and they’ve delivered that to the highest level.
‘That’s what we have to continue to do as a basic, and then add things on top to become the team that we want to be.’