I was having growing concerns about the lack of signings at Newcastle United but they have now been swept away thanks to John Carver.

Or maybe not.

Alan Pardew’s former assistant was back in the media spotlight on Thursday and giving his expert analysis on Newcastle United’s transfer window.

With no new faces arriving at St James Park and only four days (now three days) until pre-season training begins on Monday, supporters wondering whether Mike Ashley is up to his usual tricks of undermining the manager.

However, John Carver has reassured us all.

John Carver – 29 June 2017:

“Absolutely (when asked if Mike Ashley was going to back Rafa in the transfer market), one million% because I know where that football club is now.”

I don’t think John Carver knew where ‘that football club’ was when he was inside it, never mind outside of it now.

I am always dubious when somebody claims something is more sure than 100% and 1,000,000% obviously takes some beating.

After everything that Mike Ashley has done over the course of the past 10 years, I don’t think anybody could be 1% certain that he will do any particular thing.

As for backing Rafa Benitez, who knows?

As Rafa found out in January, maybe the devil is in the detail when it comes to assurances from the club’s owner..

The United made clear his anger at the end of the January window when the club didn’t sign any of the list of targets he had given them, Mike Ashley refusing to even allow any loan deals.

At the end of the season a club statement released on 10 May 2017 included this quote from the owner:

Mike Ashley:

“I’ve confirmed to Rafa (Benitez) and Lee (Charnley) that they can have every last penny that the club generates through promotion, player sales and other means in order to build for next season.”

We were all to believe that for the Championship campaign, Rafa had been promised a certain transfer budget plus any money he could add by selling players.

However, despite making a £40m transfer profit in summer 2016, Rafa wasn’t allowed to spend anything in January 2017. Obviously something doesn’t add up.

Florian Thauvin’s departure for £10m was confirmed by the club earlier this month, as well as Kevin Mbabu for an undisclosed fee, with £6.2m Christian Atsu the only arrival, it means Rafa Benitez is once again already some £5m up on transfers this time.

Recent days have seen reports that the Florian Lejeune transfer saga is now in its fifth week because Newcastle want to pay the £8.7m transfer fee in instalments to help Rafa stretch his transfer budget a bit further for other signings.

It doesn’t exactly smack of 1,000,000% backing!

We are once again in the balancing act of having 100% faith in Rafa Benitez trying/wanting to do the right thing and wondering to exactly what degree Mike Ashley is…doing the right thing.

John Carver didn’t make me sleep any easier last night, his words yesterday were about as reassuring as Donald Trump saying the planet was (1,000,000%?) safe in his hands.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Leazes Ender

    Mathematics was never his strong point, I remember him standing at the Gallowgate end offering to ‘have them all oot’ …. Biffa Bacon springs to mind.

    Only one day till the Rafalution starts then…. exciting innit.

    • Scooter

      are you sure, about the Rafalution

      • Leazes Ender

        A million percent

      • nevfur

        Without him I doubt very much we would be back in the PL with full crowds increasing season ticket sales and big new kit sales so I would suggest it started last year, has gone pretty well up to now and with the restrictions he has to work under will be interesting and hopefully exciting this coming season and hopefully well beyond that when his spending power can increase.

        • Leazes Ender

          I think you’re confusing the issues here…. the idea there might be change in the club has been blasted at Tyneside by Ryder for the last year without any evidence…. confidence is a sign of that idea not the reality of any change so far.

          • nevfur

            some of last summers signings and the recent departure of Graham Carr would suggest signs of some changes to me

      • Geordiegiants

        Well Jabba says he is going to back him, so it must be going to happen!

  • TheFatController

    In fairness to John Carver, he is the most informed person to have commented on transfer window activity

    We can all mock him, but remember no-one else commenting (supporters, Chronicle, ex players, other media, etc) have worked with Ashely and Charnley.

    It takes a special kind of conceited thinking to believe we are in a position to have a more informed opinion than his, when he says he knows where the club is now. He may be referring to info he gets from people he knows still at the club, for example. How many of the rest of us have any contacts at the club or experience working there, yet tell us all with certainty how this window will unfold?

    You may say ‘look at the track record’ but that doesn’t counter what Carver says because he states ‘now’, meaning things are different from the past situation. Instantly you can justify that with the knowledge Carr has gone, for example.

    Everyone brings the bias of emotions and beliefs to things, but facts are facts, and beliefs are beliefs. John Carver has more facts, we have more beliefs, about the club’s current situation, I’d suggest.

    • Leazes Ender

      He ‘threw’ cup games after saying he wouldn’t. and he knew his place on the gravy train….. Ashleys lackey!

    • Geordiegiants

      The reason he doesn’t know better than anyone else is, because Jabba tells lies, so he knows as much as us, and nothing more!

  • nevfur

    Carver doesn’t interview himself. Someone decides to ask him his opinion and he gives it. Obviously confident Rafa will be backed although in truth like us and Rob Lee also asked in recent days he is just a fan nowadays. However, he is on a loser because he will be slated whatever he says because some people just don’t like him whereas Rob Lee was far less confident yet got very little stick because he is still popular.
    Signings usually don’t come until July at least so the hysteria up till now has been farcical albeit the speculation and rumoured signings have been ridiculous this year.
    Signings can be judged when the window closes but our disadvantages financially compared to existing PL clubs will mean having to try to be clever in the market this year leading to non “Rafalution” accusations which can only be judged as the season unfolds and we see how we do.

    • Leazes Ender

      How much do you pay for an Ameobi these days?

      • nevfur

        Dunno ask Kevin Nolan

        • Geordiegiants

          He pays Nolan I think.

  • Rich Lawson

    Champagne from Rafa,by the start of next week,just reject cheap Cava in the meantime.