Newcastle United’s decision to appoint John Carver as manager (head coach) until the end of the season could benefit the club in the long-term.
Earlier in the month managing director Lee Charnley gave an interview to the Newcastle Chronicle in which he spoke openly about the club’s search for a new head coach, moving forward and the future.
Carver, assistant manager at St James’ Park under Sir Bobby Robson and Alan Pardew, knows the club well and spoke of his pride at taking charge for the next six months. He is a local lad, born in Newcastle and was even a junior with Newcastle until his release at 16. There cannot be many men around who know exactly what the fans want at the club.
The appointment of Carver, the miserable one – according to his players, allows Charnley and owner Mike Ashley to start planning for the summer in terms of who they want to take over in the new head coach role and the direction for the club.
They will hope that direction is up. Indeed, Carver has been set a target of a top-ten finish for the 10 games he is in charge, and it is 2.38 in the Premier League betting that he achieves that target.
However, the 50-year-old will need to turn around a slump of one draw and three defeats in four games he has overseen.
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Saturday’s match against Hull City, who have lost their last two games, is the perfect time for Carver to pick up his first win. They are 2.80 to do so and give the fans something to cheer about.
Before the announcement on January 26 that Carver was set to stay in charge for the remainder of the season, Frenchman Remi Garde was the favourite to take charge at around 1.50 but he is now a huge outsider at 71.00.
Charnley’s choice of a ‘head coach’ rather than the “traditional English manager who would want full control” has also seen Steve McClaren fall out of the bookies’ favour. The current Derby manager is 11.80 to be in charge of Newcastle next season.
The head coach role is more ideally suited to a European manager, familiar to working with a director of football above them and having transfers overseen rather than playing an active role. One man Charnley may be hoping to persuade to take charge following Carver is current Ajax boss Frank de Boer.
Earlier in January de Boer distanced himself from leaving Holland until the summer and he drifted from around 7.00 to his current 21.00. But depending on what Carver does in the remaining 16 games of the season could see those odds tumble.
De Boer would certainly bring a philosophy with him to St James’ Park. The pass and move game of Ajax could be just what is needed to lift the fans and club back to the European finishes in the 1990s and early 2000s.
However, Carver is the man currently in the hot seat and despite Charnley insisting they will not choose a yes man for their next boss, it is hard to look past Carver’s contract being extended as the board know what they are working with.