With the media painting such an over-hyped image of the Newcastle fans, it would apparently be near impossible for any managerial appointment to please them according to some sources.
But is wanting what is best for your club and getting tired of the lies, excuses and on-pitch failings really that unreasonable, or as so often put, delusional?
Steve Bruce has been inevitably linked with the vacant position, the ‘supported them as a boy’ line trotted out yet again by the Hull manager himself when asked about it. Other names like McClaren, Pullis, de Boer and Houllier have been mentioned, but besides Pulis out of the running as he heads to West Brom, the long odds on us appointing anyone who would require a compensation package rules these out as legitimate candidates.
So the new flavour of the day is to give Carver the job until the end of the season and I guess we will see more over the coming weeks to justify those claims, or dismiss them as an easy option which does the club no favours. But is Carver really so bad? Do we need to clear out all of the previous regime that tainted the club over the previous 12-16 months?
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Personally, Carver could be a good call but he does needs to set himself up properly from the start. If he were to get the position, be it until the end of the season or on a full time basis, he should be starting with these points:
1) Distance himself as quickly as possible from Pardew and the previous mess. He cannot have the stigma over his head of just carrying on where Pardew left off. He needs his own ideas and be his own manager, and while he has gone some way to do this by bringing up memories of Sir Bobby Robson, a statement of intent, while not criticising the previous manager, at least saying something along the lines of “this is a new chapter, we will be looking to put right what has gone wrong in the past blah blah…”.
2) Apologise and get the fans firmly back on his side. His outburst in apparent defence of Pardew to a section of supporters still lingers long in the memories of too many fans for him to ignore this and go away. He has passion and a history with the club. That can be his saving grace but he needs to make this point to the fans in order to get that slate wiped clean.
3) Don’t play up to Ashley. One thing that undermined Pardew was his lack of backbone when it came to dealing with Ashley. It made him complicit in what was happening with player sales and failures in the transfer market. We all know Ashley runs a tight ship and that isn’t easy, so don’t hide behind protecting the owner, come clean to the fans, treat them like they are an important part of the club once again and they will respect the job he is doing under less than ideal circumstances.
4) Finally, change the style and management of the club in a visible way. While only time will tell if he could bring youth through better, he can hardly do a worse job. But the most immediate impact is to set a team out in the style of his highly regarded mentor Sir Bobby and play expansive football and look to win games rather than set the team out not to lose like Pardew did so many times before him.
First things fist – Get two strikers on the pitch and give them a better chance of scoring goals. Yes we can say play Sissoko in the centre, yes we can say drop Gouffran, yes we can ask for more work done on set pieces, but for me the biggest thing to show a change would be to play two strikers up top. The rest can go from there.
One thing is for certain, whatever happens it will inevitably be a cheap option with someone desperate for a crack at the big time, i.e. a manager who will not expect nor demand too much of Ashley’s pockets. But it could be that we see a temporary appointment until the end of the season and Ashley look to sell up. We could easily find Joe Kinnear back here making his mouth go, or another failed has been who will take the job no questions asked.
This is a chance for the fans to stand up and back the new guy, show that when they get their wishes they don’t then act like spoiled kids and it never be good enough. Pardew is gone, many asked for that. Get behind whoever is put in the hot seat and give them all the help in the world to push the club forward. Be the supporters we all want to be, the club must come first!
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