John Carver has admitted that he is baffled as to how he can motivate his players from the kick-off.
Reflecting on Sunday’s match, the Newcastle Head coach says he was pleased to see the spirit shown after Newcastle had their Captain sent off, but that it worries him when his players only start playing when two goals and a man down.
“We go down to 10 men and we actually create our two best chances of the game.
“Which is good in a sense because it proves that people hadn’t thrown the towel in, hadn’t given up.
“But it worries me because why would players start playing only when they are down to 10 men?”
It has been a season long problem what happens in the first half and to me you have to look at two things.
You have to question whether the players are motivated right from that first minute and you also have to question the use of negative tactucs by both Alan Pardew and John Carver, which encourages and allows the opposition to control possession and buildup momentum and conifdence from the kick-off.
The match at Everton a case in point as the opposition went for it from the off with two strikers up front, surely no coincidence that Newcastle had their best period of the match when both Cabella and Perez were on the pitch.
Leaving United’s two best chances of creating and scoring goals on the bench was an abysmal move by Carver.
In only two Premier League matches this season have Newcastle scored in the opening half hour (Burnley (two goals) and Southampton at home), that is three goals in 29 matches.
It works out at a goal nearly every five hours (every 290 minutes) of football.
Compared to that, the opposition have scored 15 goals in the first half hour this season (one every 58 minutes).
No wonder Newcastle struggle when they hand the initiative to the opposition time after time.
Like every other manager, John Carver often talks about how crucial the first goal of a match is. So maybe it is about time that he sets his team out to try and achieve just that.