How English Premier League boss has turned to All Blacks mantra

posted in: News

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe has taken a page from the New Zealand All Blacks gamebook as he tries to build a strong team culture at the club.

He says he’s happy to adopt the All Blacks’ policy of “no d***heads” at the club.

The rugby side has a rule that inflated egos will not be tolerated and team must come ahead of any individual.

Asked by Chronicle Live‘s football writer Lee Ryder if he had a similar policy in place at Newcastle, Howe said:

“Yes, absolutely right.

“Again, it comes back to the ‘respect’ word. If you’re not in the team, you’ve got to respect the player that is in the team and you’ve got to wait for your opportunity, and just how you behave day-to-day around the place.

“I’ve got to say, we’ve got some very, very good professionals here, we’ve got some great, great people. If you’ve got great people, you’ve got a chance of creating a great team.”

Howe: ‘You find out a lot more about the player’s character’

Howe has put effort into learning more about his players, to the extent of asking them to complete a questionnaire about their lives outside of football.

“It’s key that – it goes back to the earlier question – you’ve got to know about your players’ private lives, you’ve got to know do they have kids, what makes them tick, loads of different factors that can go into making a player happy or unhappy off the pitch, and you have got to try to find ways to help them.

“One of the big areas of growth as a club is trying to improve our infrastructure to support the players. It’s something that we really like to do. We like to find out about players’ personal lives and their history.

“There’s a lot I might think I know about a person, but then when they start to talk about themselves and their childhood and certain things that have happened in their life, you find out a totally different view that you by normal conversations wouldn’t find out.

“It’s very healthy not just for me to know that but the rest of the squad, and it can start relationships and conversations about things that normally wouldn’t happen.

“We’ve had some really interesting talks and you find out a lot more about the players’ character. I won’t go into details because it’s not right for me to do that, but it’s a very healthy thing we do, I think.”

At least one player at Newcastle United will be already familiar with New Zealand culture — All Whites striker Chris Wood.

Main photo: Eddie Howe. Image: NUFC.

England manager Gareth Southgate another to draw on Maori values

Howe is not the only English manager to draw on New Zealand inspiration for building team culture.

England manager Gareth Southgate has consulted Southlander Owen Eastwood, a lawyer-turned-performance coach who worked with the Three Lions ahead of the last FIFA World Cup Finals and helped them prepare for the European Championships.

Eastwood draws on Maori values and has consulted to many leading sports teams including the All Blacks and the British Olympic team.

Click here for more about Owen Eastwood >>>>

More football stories