Wed 20 Dec 2023, 10:29 by Ash Harrison

'Incredibly strong': Eddie Howe says he will be giving full support to 'transformative' player

'Incredibly strong': Eddie Howe says he will be giving full support to 'transformative' player
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Eddie Howe wasted no time in throwing his support behind Kieran Trippier last night after yet another costly error.

There's no doubt about it, Kieran Trippier has been one of, if not the best signing Newcastle United has made since Alan Shearer.

Since Trippier arrived at St James' Park to a relegation-threatened Newcastle having left Champions League side Atletico Madrid, he's dragged the club up by the scruff of its neck. He's brought a different air of class to proceedings and for the most part he has been impeccable.

Trippier's head just doesn't seem to be in the game lately

However, lately, something's just not right with the England fullback. Whether something is going on off the pitch or he's simply exhausted, it's clear that the 33-year-old is not 100% with it right now.

It has been Trippier's errors that have cost us in big games recently and last night it was his error that led to Chelsea's equaliser and then the vice-captain went on to fire his penalty well wide of the mark.

Eddie Howe, though, refuses to point fingers and vowed to support Trippier in his post-match media briefing.

“As I’ve said many times, he’s a transformative signing. Someone that’s taken the group onto a totally different level. He’s been the heartbeat of that so when he’s given us so much it’s now our turn to support him and look after him the other way and that’s what we’ll do.”

It's the absolute minimum Trippier deserves to be honest.

Of course social media is a lovely place to be right now

The reaction to Trippier online as always was nuanced and balanced ... wait no ... the opposite of that. You've got people kicking off at those who dare to question Trippier and others who think he should be tied to the side of a Space X rocket and shot into space and there is no in-between.

So allow us to try to be the voice of reason. Have Trippier's mistakes been costly? Absolutely, of course they have, but at the same time are they out of character? Yes! Had these errors been spaced out throughout the season we'd barely be paying attention to them, but the fact they've come in a cluster is what's the real issue.

Again, to us, it suggests there's more going on than we're being made aware of. Eddie Howe now has to sit him down and tell him he's going to spend some time on the sidelines while he gets his head right. Or even for Trippier himself to tell Howe that's what needs to be done. He's already a hero to us, he doesn't need to prove it. Tino Livramento is more than capable of filling in.

Just have a break, Tripps, please.

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