Alan Shearer’s Open Letter to Eddie Howe: Reflections and Analysis
In a poignant open letter to Newcastle United manager, Eddie Howe, published today in The Athletic, the club’s legendary former striker Alan Shearer, expressed his gratitude and admiration for Howe’s transformative leadership. Shearer’s letter was both a homage to Newcastle’s recent successes and a reflection on a deep emotional connection the fans and city have forged with Howe.
The Miracle of St James’ Park
Shearer’s letter begins by thanking Howe for reviving the “primal rage of St James’ Park.” This is a sentiment that every Newcastle supporter can connect with; the acknowledgment that Howe has managed to awaken the previously dormant beast that was the city’s passion for football. The letter calls out a renewed Newcastle that plays with a “regal fury”, a team that pushes its physical boundaries, running tirelessly for their passionate fan base. Shearer is clearly moved by this return to form, so much so that it forms the spine of his heartfelt tribute.
“Thank you for this version of Newcastle United, one which plays angry and plays loud, which runs and keeps running until lungs explode and legs collapse and then runs on empty until there is nowhere left to run.”
The Rebirth of the City
Shearer’s letter highlights more than just on-pitch success. It focuses on how football has invigorated the city, creating a “beehive of buzzing”, an awakened spirit that has reclaimed its streets and lives in an aura of happiness, unified by a shared love for the club. Howe’s impact has been profound, transforming not just the team, but the city itself.
Ignoring the Critics, Embracing the Fight
Shearer appreciates Howe’s approach to the manager’s role at Newcastle United, recognising the distinctive energy he brought to the club. While not matching the flamboyance of Kevin Keegan or the gravitas of Sir Bobby Robson, Howe’s solid commitment and dogged determination to not just exist, but to thrive, has clearly struck a chord with Shearer.
The open letter to Eddie Howe takes a moment to appreciate the transformation of the team itself. Shearer highlights Howe’s skill in crafting a team greater than the sum of its parts, a squad that puts in the effort, and embodies the ethos of “all in it together.”
Shearer is effusive in his admiration of how Howe has built this team:
“Thank you for building the class of 2022-23 and the memories they will leave, a special, grounded group who, for one more match, are bonded together, welded together, who have lifted Newcastle towards the elite.”
Celebrating the Player Transformations
Shearer, in his letter, takes the time to applaud Howe’s handling of players, pointing out the remarkable transformation of individuals like Joelinton and Sean Longstaff, who under Howe’s guidance, have become vital to the team’s success.
Kieran Trippier’s arrival at Newcastle has been another turning point, as noted by Shearer. His leadership and quality have significantly impacted the team. Trippier, an England international and a La Liga winner, represented a statement of intent from the club, setting the tone for the season.
The Future of Newcastle United
Shearer ends his letter on a hopeful note, thanking Howe for reigniting the spirit of the club and the city. He implores Howe to soak in the atmosphere of what he’s achieved and expresses gratitude for making Newcastle United feel like home again.
In his letter, Alan Shearer managed to capture the essence of what it means to be a part of Newcastle United, reminding the world that this is more than just a football club – it’s an intrinsic part of the city’s identity, now reborn under Eddie Howe.