Thursday, April 18News That Matters

Carragher snubs Arteta & names his Manager of the Year

Jamie Carragher has snubbed Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and has named his Premier League Manager of the Year for 2022.

He decided not to choose Arteta, who has led Arsenal to the top of the Premier League after 15 matches this campaign, with the Gunners five points clear of Manchester City.

Carragher also did not pick Pep Guardiola, who helped Man City register their fourth title in five years at the end of the 2021-22 season in the summer.

The Sky Sports pundit has instead named Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe as his Manager of the Year.

The former Bournemouth coach arrived at the club in November 2021, one month after a Saudi-backed consortium completed a £300million takeover of the club – and guided the team well away from the relegation zone.

Howe had led Newcastle to a superb start this season, with Newcastle third in the league table having only lost one of their opening 16 matches.

Carragher has lauded Howe for his impact as he told The Telegraph: ‘The first phase of the new era at Newcastle United is a triumph of coaching more than the result of a financial revolution.

‘I don’t believe any other manager could have bettered Howe’s work at St James’ Park over the past 12 months.

‘Had the club’s Saudi Arabia owners’ somehow lured Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp to the north east upon completing their takeover, the team would not be in a stronger position.

‘Much has been made of the money available at Newcastle and where it will eventually take the club. It is inaccurate and unfair to judge Howe’s early work through that lens.

‘He has led a team that was second from bottom to third in the Premier League through a combination of astute purchases and by vastly improving the performances of those players he inherited.

‘Financial backing has been part of it, but secondary to Howe changing Newcastle’s style.

‘They have gone from a defensively minded team trying to grind out results to entertainers playing on the front-foot.

‘Yes, the new ownership has shifted the landscape in the short-term and long-term for Newcastle.

‘Howe was backed in the transfer window upon his appointment and no club spent more in the calendar year.

‘But look closer at those deals and they have nothing in common with the early splurges of Chelsea under Roman Abramovich, or Manchester City under Sheikh Mansour.

‘Most presumed a Newcastle top-four challenge would be two or three years away, not a matter of months, and there are enough recent examples of clubs spending big under new ownership and going backwards because of poor recruitment.’

Carragher added: ‘There were plenty of doubts across football as to whether Howe could deliver at a club of Newcastle’s stature.

‘The proof of that is in how many top jobs came and went while Howe was at Bournemouth, and in his year out of work following relegation.

‘Even when he joined Newcastle, cynics wondered if he would fill the role of Mark Hughes during the early years of Mansour’s Manchester City reign, edging the side towards the top four until the owners could hire a stellar name to make the final step in the Champions League spots and towards title bids.

‘Howe has started like a coach in it for the long haul, determined to be the one to deliver the success rather than laying the foundations for a successor.

‘He is so far ahead of schedule that members of the traditional ‘big six’ are worried.’

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