Over the years I have met John Carver a few times, I don’t know him but I do know that he is a Newcastle fan and passionate about our City.

Of course he isn’t unique in that respect, there are hundreds of thousands of us with those credentials but it doesn’t necessarily make us the right person to manage or head coach Newcastle United.

What those attributes do give John Carver, or at least should do, is the advantage of understanding the position the football club holds for the people. As well as having an appreciation of the politics surrounding NUFC’s working with fans, the media and so on.

Whether he can then show he has what it takes to actually do the job is then down to him.

He’s in a strange position because it is hardly a neutral situation, he had a good few brownie points from his association with Sir Bobby but then the scales are balanced by fans marking him down due to his closeness to Alan Pardew.

Carver started off regularly namechecking Sir Bobby but then he has drifted more towards speaking of Pardew, especially with the hype surrounding the game at Palace.

I think he has to use this breathing space of a week and a half before the next match to carefully think about how he approaches the remaining thirteen matches.

I think it is pretty clear, at least in my opinion, that John Carver has been told the job is his longer term if things don’t go badly wrong this season. Looking back on January and it looks like the press were being fed more than their fair share of red herrings when it came to potential candidates for the permanent post of head coach.

The only show in town for me is Carver doing the job, it is very difficult to see how they could bring in an outsider who would fit how they intend to keep on doing things at Newcastle United.

The big difference though between Alan Pardew and John Carver is for me the fact that John is a Newcastle boy who is from here, lives here and will do so in the future.

Like any other manager Alan Pardew was only going to be here for a certain period before moving elsewhere, this is home for Carver.

In that respect, for all I believe John Carver has the backing of Mike Ashley and his minions, I also think he needs a certain support of the fans to continue to do the job.

I don’t believe he can be so detached and aloof as Pardew managed to be during some seriously long bad runs of form.

John Carver talked of the point being a good one at Palace and a record or one win, three draws and two defeats in his six league matches not being a bad one. He might be stretching a point about the six points from six games but a draw wasn’t bad at Palace, it was just the way it was achieved that doesn’t sit well with many people.

One shot on target in the entire match, a negative formation and very defensive substitutions.

I bit like a bird that hasn’t flown yet, Carver needs to take a deep breath and step out bravely from his comfort zone, flapping his wings as hard as possible.

Only by showing that he can produce some decent football will John Carver carry the fans with him. Fans can take up and down results up to a point but I think they have to be convinced that change on the pitch is possible from what they see up to the end of the season.

Performances can change people’s opinions and I do think he has to see that being brave is a move where he has absolutely nothing to lose.



  • FatCashley

    The fans will never back Carver as long as he supports the regime, it’s that simple really. I agree he’s gonna get the full-time job barring a calamity, which says enough really. Be very surprised if attendances at home stay above 40,000 as we near the end of the season, I sense deja-vu coming in relation to our end of season form compared to last season. Let the good times roll…

  • LeazesEnder

    He’s already said that change ISN’T  on the agenda…. the proclamation that he’s Ashleys guy…and he won’t say boo to a goose, has rightly riled fans  This club is seemingly here to owe people a living!

  • RexN

    Fair play, a lot of us would like to see a local lad do well.

    He blotted his own copybook with the Southampton escapade, he has one win in 7 games.

    Likening it to the 400m hurdles, he has cleared one and knocked down a few. He may even have disqualified himself by diverting to the steeplechase water jump.

    Having the next 10 days to prepare for the next game could give him a chance to get into his stride pattern – if he has one.

  • DownUnderMag

    Despite the blot on his copy-book over his tirade of abuse at fans while working under Pardew, I think most of us are behind a local lad to take the club forward.   The trouble is, tactics like we saw against Palace only underline the sentiment that it is Pardew in spirit, if not in name, that is still at the helm.  

    I also think that if he wants the backing of the fans then he needs to show he is willing to push the boat out.  Willing to attack teams, not recklessly because we just don’t have those calibre of players to simply outscore other teams now, but certainly at least get at teams like Palace.  We all realise that you need to keep things tight against the likes of Chelsea or City otherwise it could turn into a cricket score…but to be so negative against relegation fodder sides is really a backwards step.

  • MilitantGeordie

    We need to attack the game from the start instead of playing defensively. The general game plan seems to be try and nick a goal then hang on for dear life, that’s setting us up for boredom and inviting teams to have a go at our weak defence. Why can’t we play two upfront especially at home and show some intent. Why does Adam Armstrong not get a chance? in the few games he’s played he did really well and seemed to get us on the front foot with some powerful runs into the box. There’s no point just sticking Cisse or Perez upfront because neither of them are target men and we lose the ball far too often from hopeful long balls. Carver should watch a few videos from the entertainers years for ideas on how to play attacking positive football. He should also tell Ashley we need some quality players in the summer because the current squad is bare bones and always two or three injuries away from crisis. I think this summer transfer window will be the tipping point depending on what Ashley does. If he just sells players ( Sissoko? Krul? Tiote? Cisse? ) and brings in only the two from Nottingham Forest we will be strong contenders for Relegation next season.
    Imagine going into next season with Williamson, Taylor, Colocinni ( if he doesn’t retire) and Lascelles as our centerbacks, Darlow in nets and no Sissoko Cisse or Krul? That scares me.
    With all the TV money sloshing around in the coffers we can easily bring in two or three decent players to bolster the squad but going off past form i can see another miserable window on the horizion.( while Carver tells us the squad has never been stronger as per the S.D script)

  • RichardRenwick

    Our next 9 games Villa is the only one we have a chance of winning, we are that bad at the moment, he’s got no chance of turning us round

  • Nicolaus Copernicus

    A well-written and timely article, Mark.
    I think many of us would like to see Carver do well but, as you allude, we are becoming more and more dismayed by his inability to stamp himself as his own man and, instead, fall back on the Pardew ways.
    I have suggested in earlier posts that we may actually now be seeing how much influence Carver may have had on Pardew before now, and that our inability of late to tell one from the other can be put down to the fact that Carver was pulling more of Pardew’s strings than we may have realised.
    If that is true – and I hope it’s not – then, come the summer, Carver is going to be a shoe in for the position full time, for he would be exactly what Ashley wants in order to keep us in mid-division mediocrity.

  • Brownale69

    Being a  Geordie doesnt make him a good coach and motivator. It appears the Foreign legion are the biz for being at the top . Prove it by team selection, tactics and results. Then judge at end of season, and for Gods sake lets make a game of it in April against the Mackems. GIVE us some decent football to shout about, and get the library atmosphere out of St James park.

  • Paul Patterson

    His comments on the current form he has overseen should strike fear into every fan of this club. It should even worry Ashley.

  • Alsteads

    John gives us a team to be proud of, a style of play we can talk about with pride to other fans. We aren’t going to challenge or win anything so just give us those two things and we’ll back you 100%

  • daverussell097

    Hate to use an Americanism/cliche but: “how can someone who has been part of the problem be part of the solution?”

    It’s sad really because it is likely that none of us who contribute to these comments have an ounce of John Carver’s ability to manage/coach a top class football team. Unfortunately it’s also clear that he is not up to the job. I would much rather that he was good enough because we could have a local guy and real fan in charge of our club. Let’s face it he would only have to be 30% as good as the last local guy to manage the club for a while and we would be delighted.

    All this being said I hope that he proves us all wrong and as a result convinces Mr. Ashley ithat it would actually be a good decision to speculate on NUFC, he will make even more.money!