As Mike Ashley and his running of the club comes under ever more scruutiny and pressure, it looks as though a little Newcastle United PR stunt went a tiny bit wrong today.
The NUFC Under 21s/reserves were playing down at Derby on Tuesday afternoon and got stuffed 4-0.
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Then surprise surprise, there then appeared an on the spot interview with John Carver who had travelled all the way to Derby to watch them.
What’s all that about? Have a read here of what the Newcastle Head Coach had to say and then I’ll give you my angle on it.
John Carver speaking to the club’s official TV channel:
“From a psychological view it was very important he (Siem de Jong) got 90 minutes today. He didn’t have a great deal to do on the ball but he got through the 90 minutes without any problem.
“He has now got 3 or 4 days to recover and hopefully he will be involved at Leicester at the weekend.
“This is his third game now and I think he got 72 minutes against Aston Villa (reserves). There has been an improvement in every game and as we saw on Saturday, he is a goalscorer and we need a goalscorer at the moment. So, great the fact he’s actually got through 90 minutes and he’ll be raring to go.
“What I won’t do is throw him in at the deep end, I’ll have a conversation with him on the bus, see how he feels in the next 48 hours because that is important. Then see where we go for the weekend.”
Interviewer: ‘You do regularly attend the Under 21 home games but this is a 300 mile round trip, why did you think it was so important to come today?’
“I think it is important that I come and see our players who are competing to get into the first team.
“Along with Siem we had Facundo Ferreyra and Adam Armstrong and Olivier Kemen, so there are 4 players who have been involved with the first team recently.
“Plus it’s always nice to see them play away from home. We know what they can do when they are at home but coming away it is a little bit of a journey because tomorrow I’ll be at Leicester, watching Leicester against Chelsea with (Steve) Stoney.
“So it is a busy week but it is a very important week and work that needs to be done.”
I’m afraid it just doesn’t ring true to me, it just sounds like a load of waffle.
When exactly was Facundo Ferreyra ‘involved with the first team recently’?
The interviewer makes clear that Carver doesn’t usually watch the reserves away from home, so what’s he doing spending a day travelling over 300 miles to watch a second string kickabout?
Surely with the state the club is in and with relegation a real possibility, there was work he could have been doing back in Newcastle?
So it’s a great idea for the manager/head coach to be going down to Derby and back to watch the reserves when he is going down the next day to watch Leicester in another 300+ miles round trip?
Surely he knows all he needs to about Adam Armstrong and he can’t seriously be going to throw Olivier Kemen into this relegation fight?
To me, this trip appears to be all about sending John Carver down to Derby to then do an interview raving about Siem de Jong and giving a full on positive spin about how great he was etc etc and how better times ahead in remaining games etc as we are getting our stars back.
Carver does still try to do this by saying how great it is that Siem de Jong played the full 90 minutes and he also mentions that the Dutchman has got better with each game….
Well this particular Newcastle United stunt was a ‘little’ spoilt by Derby hammering them 4-0 and seen as de Jong hardly got a kick today, how exactly he ‘showed improvement’ is anybody’s guess.
As for the rubbish of saying great to be able to see how they do away from home for the reserves as Carver knows what happens at home…well the reserves hadn’t won for eleven matches before they beat Villa in the game previous to this Derby defeat. So I think we all know how they’ve managed both home and away in recent months!
I honestly think the club is all over the place and sending your manager down to Derby with the reserves when you are facing a relegation battle is simply mad.