ESPN pundit and former Chelsea defender decides between Eddie Howe and Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag (left) and Newcastle United manager Eddie HoweErik ten Hag (left) and Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe
Erik ten Hag (left) and Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe | Getty Images
Newcastle United have won three, drawn one and lost one against Manchester United since Eddie Howe and Erik ten Hag took charge.

Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley believes Eddie Howe passes the “eye test” over Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag.

As it stands, Newcastle United trail the Red Devils by four points - despite playing a game more - in the race for European football. The two clubs are set to go head-to-head at Old Trafford later in the coming weeks for a clash that should have a huge impact on the season.

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Rewind to November and every Toon fan would have banked on the Magpies finishing above Ten Hag’s side. An injury-stricken Newcastle outfit thrashed Man United 3-0 in their own backyard to avenge last year’s Carabao Cup final defeat.

A month later, Howe would have the Red Devils’ number again with a controlled 1-0 win at St James’ Park. Newcastle looked destined for another solid campaign before further injuries and a downturn in form ensued.

Pundits have now questioned which of the two managers is better suited to the Premier League. Ex-Chelsea and Scotland international Burley, speaking to ESPN, thinks there is only one winner.

“I’ll tell you what the difference is (between Howe and Ten Hag),” he said. “A lot of the Newcastle performances - they’ve passed the eye test. We can put all the stats away. If you’re a stats nerd and that’s all you go on - sod off.

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“There’s an eye test. When I’m watching Man United, and they’ve spent a lot more than Newcastle, against teams, you’re watching the game and you go ‘wow, how are they not competing, how are they giving up so many chances, how are they picking these points up playing like that?’

“Newcastle have had some moments like that but, generally, their football has been better. Eddie Howe, I think personally, is a better manager in England than Ten Hag.”

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