John Carver has been out of the management game since his disastrous spell at Newcastle United in the second half of last season and that looks still to be the case after he missed out on the Aston Villa job.
David Moyes had been installed as favourite after reports that he had had talks with Villa, only for the media in the West Midlands to confirm today that Moyes had decided the job wasn’t for him.
That is now said to have reduced the three man shortlist to two but John Carver isn’t one of those two names.
Instead the job is said to rest between Roberto di Matteo and Nigel Pearson, with the former Leicester Manager and Newcastle assistant boss the new clear favourite.
Appearing on Radio 5 Live last month, John Carver revealed that he had applied for the vacancy left by Remi Garde at Villa Park.
“I have (applied for the Aston Villa job) yes, via my agent, I haven’t heard anything yet though…”
At the time, this statement by Alan Pardew’s former assistant produced an amusing reaction from Newcastle supporters, desperate for him to get the job.
However, Aston Villa fans weren’t quite as excited about the opportunity, many of them using social media to express their view that surely this couldn’t happen and also reminding John Carver of what he said about them not too long ago…
On 28 February 2015, Newcastle beat Aston Villa 1-0 at St James Park, one of only three wins in the 20 matches under John Carver as Head Coach.
That win saw Newcastle 10 points clear of Aston Villa. Villa left only one place above the relegation zone with 11 matches to go and John Carver very smug about the situation.
Referring back to when Villa fans rejoiced at Newcastle’s relegation back in May 2009, John Carver was asked how he felt about Aston Villa.
With Villa looking likely to be relegated, Carver smugly said ‘It’s funny how things work out in life…’ and asked if he’d lose any sleep if Aston Villa went down, he replied ‘Absolutely not’.
In the final 11 matches of that 2014/15 season, Aston Villa picked up 13 points, whilst John Carver almost relegated Newcastle by accumulating only 4 points from a possible 33. Only making sure of safety on the final day with a win over West Ham, Villa losing at home to Burnley, meaning Newcastle finished only one point ahead of the Midlands team.
John Carver February 2015:
“How the Aston Villa fans reacted to the way we got relegated wasn’t nice and it could spur our fans on.
“I never spoke to anyone for an hour after the final whistle went that day (May 2009). That really hurt me. Sometimes when you come up against Aston Villa that stays in there.
“‘I remember the reaction of their fans after the game. That will never go away. Every time we come up against Aston Villa that’s in the back of my head. Definitely.
(Asked if there’d be no love lost should Aston Villa be relegated) “Absolutely not.
“It’s funny how things work out in life…”