French football journalist Philippe Auclair joined The Football Show to discuss Eddie Howe and Newcastle.
Philippe Auclair is a passionate man. He's capable of delivering cutting comments and being emphatic while delivering his verdict on a situation or player. But he's also usually quite a reserved character in how he delivers his sentiments.
That wasn't the case on Wednesday.
Auclair fought against himself, attempting to hold back his harshest words when discussing Eddie Howe. The Newcastle United manager attempted to take the moral high ground over Jurgen Klopp this week. Klopp received a red card for remonstrating against Manchester City after previously making comments about the nation state-owned clubs in football.
Howe, manager at the Saudi-led Newcastle United, attempted to use Klopp's red card against him so he could paint himself as the good guy. Auclair was incensed by this.
"His utterances were totally unacceptable [and] demonstrably false," Auclair said.
"He also had the cheek to say that Newcastle United's spending over the last year was in sync with the rest of the Premier League. Newcastle United have spent £240 million net in a single calendar year. Which is more than anyone else. He has the cheek to say that."
But it's not just football matters that bother Auclair. Newcastle will spend money. They will spend a lot more money than even the richest clubs in the league, but they can be honest about it too. Howe has tried to pretend he's just a football man to this point, and maybe he is, but you don't get to be that when you work for Newcastle's ownership group.
Auclair offered his opinion on the character of Howe and the way he conducts himself. It was not favourable for the English manager.
"He is the servant of a dictatorship. Whether he likes it or not, whether he realizes it or not, he is a man who is put in front of the cameras...supporting a project which is driven by a dictatorship. And a murderous dictatorship.
"[Howe is] not responsible directly for what the Saudi Arabian regime is doing. I'm not saying that. What I'm saying is at least show a little bit of reserve.
"I don't think it would be a problem if Eddie How went in front of the cameras and said 'We've got loads of money, we're spending it how we see fit in respect of FFP.' Yes, fine. That's absolutely right. Do what you want.
"Don't start giving lessons of ethics to Jurgen Klopp about how to behave as manager...I am so incensed by that...at least have the decency to shut up at times. We know who pays your players, we know who pays your salary. We are fully aware of what kind of regime we're talking about. You are owned by a nation state.
"Don't take the morale high ground. You're a midget compared to this man.
"Apologies, these are strong words. But the words that are forming in my mind are much stronger than that."
Eddie Howe is only going to step further into the spotlight as Newcastle continue to build their squad.
Damien Duff is excelling in the League of Ireland.
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