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How every Newcastle boss since 2004 fared in first match ahead of Eddie Howe’s opener

Newcastle‘s last taste of a top-four finish came under Sir Bobby Robson way back in 2003.

Since his departure a year later, it’s not been a pleasant experience for the Geordies, with 12 coaches coming in to try and repair the rut.

And as Eddie Howe takes his first game in charge, where’s he’s set to instruct the players via FaceTime after testing positive for Covid, we take a look at his predecessors and see how they did in their opening Premier League game in charge.

Graeme Souness



Graeme Souness gesticulates on the touchline as Newcastle manager
Graeme Souness was not well received by the Geordies when he took over from Sir Bobby Robson

September 19, 2004 – Southampton 1 Newcastle 2

The Scot had already got off to a winning start with the Magpies beating Israeli side Bnei Sakhnin 2-0 in the UEFA Cup. Three days later, they won on the South Coast with the winner coming from an unlikely source – right-back Stephen Carr. Souness won ten and drew three of his opening 16 games in charge but was sacked 18 months later.

Glenn Roeder



Glenn Roeder helped Newcastle reach Europe
Glenn Roeder got off to a good start for Newcastle

February 4, 2006 – Newcastle 2 Portsmouth 0

A game which proved to be one of the most memorable in Newcastle’s history with Alan Shearer breaking Jackie Milburn’s goalscoring record with his 201st for the club, slotting home in front of the Gallowgate End after Charles N’Zogbia had broken the deadlock. Roeder took over a struggling side and led them to European qualification via the Intertoto Cup.

Sam Allardyce



Sam Allardyce shouts on the touchline
Sam Allardyce also failed to make an impression in the northeast

August 11, 2007 – Bolton 1 Newcastle 3

A dream start for Big Sam at his former club with an emphatic opening day win, thanks to goals by Oba Martins (2) and N’Zogbia. Like Souness before him, his time in the Toon hotseat was initially full of promise but it all turned sour by January when new owner Mike Ashley bowed to fans’ pressure and fired him.

Kevin Keegan



Then-Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan reacts to Chelsea manager Avram Grant
Kevin Keegan’s return to Newcastle led to him suing the club for constructive dismissal

January 19, 2008 – Newcastle 0 Bolton 0

KK’s Second Coming was nothing like his first spell in charge of Newcastle and his opening game proved a damp squib despite the frenzied atmosphere at kick-off. Bolton comfortably held out for a goalless draw and Keegan had to wait another two months for his first win – after a run of two draws and six defeats.

Will Eddie Howe steer Newcastle clear of relegation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.



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Joe Kinnear



Joe Kinnear in the dugout for Newcastle
Joe Kinnear delivered just a 22% win record

September 27, 2008 – Newcastle 1 Blackburn 2

The club were in turmoil following Keegan’s departure and the leftfield appointment of Kinnear 24 hours before this game did little to restore stability. He watched from the stands as a confidence-shot side slumped to a fifth successive defeat against opponents managed by ex-manager Allardyce. Michael Owen scored a second-half consolation from the penalty spot.

Alan Shearer



Newcastle United manager Alan Shearer looks on before the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United at Villa Park on May 24, 2009 in Birmingham, England.
Alan Shearer wanted to stay on as Newcastle boss following their relegation

April 4, 2009 – Newcastle 0 Chelsea 2

Chris Hughton had held the reins after Kinnear resigned for health reasons before the shock appointment of Toon legend Shearer. But there was to be no dream start for the Geordie as Chelsea ran out easy winners at St James’ Park. He would go on to win just one of his eight games at the helm as Newcastle were relegated on the final day.

Chris Hughton



Chris Hughton leans by the badge of Newcastle United as he's unveiled
Chris Hughton led the Magpies back to the Premier League but was let go the following season

August 8, 2009 – West Brom 1 Newcastle 1

The former Republic of Ireland defender had already had two caretaker spells in charge and was offered the job on a permanent basis as Newcastle started life in the second tier for the first time in 16 years. Hughton didn’t just steady a sinking ship he set sail on a journey that would lead to promotion. After this opening day draw, the Magpies won six in a row.

Alan Pardew



Alan Pardew (C) the Newcastle United manager greets Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley (R) prior to kickoff during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Newcastle United at St Mary's Stadium on March 29, 2014 in Southampton, England.
Alan Pardew left the club for Crystal Palace

December 11, 2010 – Newcastle 3 Liverpool 1

Pardew wasn’t a popular appointment and needed a good start after the controversial sacking of Hughton. And he got it with a stirring win over Liverpool with late goals by Joey Barton and Andy Carroll sealing an unexpected three points after Dirk Kuyt had cancelled out Kevin Nolan;’s 15th-minute opener.

John Carver



John Carver points during Newcastle training
John Carver kept the club up despite going on a eight-game losing streak

January 1, 2015 – Newcastle 3 Burnley 3

Pardew quit after a 3 2 win over Everton three days earlier to take over at Crystal Palace and his former No. 2 thought he was all set for another win only for the Clarets to hit back three times. Stephen Taylor, Jack Colback, and Moussa Sissoko were the Toon’s New Year’s Day goalscorers.

Steve McClaren



Steve McClaren as Newcastle manager
Steve McClaren’s first season in charge saw Newcastle relegated

August 9, 2015 – Newcastle 2 Southampton 2

Goals by Papiss Cisse and debutant Gini Wijnaldum looked to have got McClaren’s reign off to a flying start only for Saints’ striker Shane Long to equalise with 11 minutes remaining. Newcastle were not to win a league game under the former England boss until October 18 when they thrashed Norwich 6-2.

Rafa Benitez



Rafa and Benitez and Alan Pardew stand on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace
Alan Pardew and Rafa Benitez both enjoyed lengthy tenures at Newcastle but with vastly different results

March 14, 2016 – Leicester 1 Newcastle 0

Whatever Rafa’s managerial qualities, he didn’t possess a magic wand. The Magpies were unbeaten in their last six games under his stewardship but by that time the damage was done. They went down to a Shinji Okazaki goal at the KP Stadium and picked up just two points out of 12 in Benitez’s opening four games.

Steve Bruce



Steve Bruce the head coach / manager of Newcastle United reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St. James Park on October 17, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
Steve Bruce left Newcastle by mutual consent following their defeat against Tottenham

August 11, 2019 – Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1

The heavens opened but this was a hellish afternoon for Bruce whose dreams of a winning start at the club he supported as a boy were shattered by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second-half winner. And the critics were on his back immediately claiming a botched substitution had led to the visitors’ goal.




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