At the start of the season, Alan Pardew asked Newcastle supporters to judge him after 10 games. Carver is on record as saying Pardew is up there with the best he has worked with – including Sir Bobby. Surely Carver himself would like to be judged by the same standards?

Of course, any Newcastle United supporter would love to see a local lad be a huge success in the managerial hot seat, particularly one who started his playing career as well as his coaching career at the club.

In seeking to evaluate how Carver has done over his first 10 league games, it is acknowledged that he is working within constraints. When the season kicked off, the club ostensibly had a senior playing staff complete with the 25 senior players who could be registered for Premier League action. 3 further players were packed off on loan; Ben Arfa, Mbiwa and Marveaux.

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The January window has seen two of those leave permanently, Santon following in their wake. From that list, Vuckic has also gone on loan along with back up keeper, Alnwick. Only two squad members had double figures in Premier League career goals for the club, Cisse and Steve Taylor.

Carver has not been helped by the penny pinching owner and MD. Carver has not helped himself in his lack of protests about squad depth.

Football is often said to be a “results business”. We could have looked at the results after 10 games, rather than 10 Premier League games, but allowing for the Everton match gave Carver some benefit of doubt for his supposedly injury ravaged FA Cup squad at Leicester. That doubt seems to have been removed.

Of all the Newcastle managers in history, Carver has reached a hitherto unachieved milestone. Allowing for Shearer who did not reach double figures in games managed, Carver has the worst record of any. Even Colin Suggett managed 2 wins out of 9, Joe Kinnear similarly had a win ratio of 22.2%. Ardiles was similarly subject to tight cash constraints but still achieved 21.3% win ratio. Carver’s in the league is 20%, overall it is 18.2%.

Taking the stats further, Carver is the only Newcastle manager to have been in charge for 10 or more games and lost more than 50%.

Of course, statistics are meaningless without considering the quality of the opposition. Fixtures lists can provide tough spells as well as easy ones. 4 of Carver’s 5 league defeats have come against top 6 clubs. Perhaps those defeats were expected. We will come to have a look at the manner of those defeats. There was also the fiasco in the cup against Leicester.

By the same token, we should look at the wins. With the benefit of hindsight, the Villa win would appear a good one, against a team who won 4-0 away at Sunderland and who have reached the semi finals of the FA Cup. Prior to playing us, however, Villa were in the bottom 3, having lost their previous 5 away games, scoring none and conceding 10 in the process. A 1-0 win was below average.

Hull were also in the bottom 3 at the time, having not won any of their previous 16 league games.

The 3 draws came against Burnley who were in the bottom 3 at the time, and could have been a win but for a late lapse, mid-table Stoke which could have been a win but for a late lapse and a resurgent Palace who had been in the bottom 3.

There have been some decent displays for almost a half game, notably first half against Chelsea, similarly Burnley. There appeared some determination against Manchester United who came into the match with the 2nd worst away record of the top half clubs. Sadly, those performances were not maintained. Whether it is a lack of passion or a lack of discipline is a matter for debate.

The discipline case is enhanced by other things that have happened on the field. Colback picked up a 2 game suspension, Cisse a 7 game ban after failing to control his retaliation, Coloccini a 3 game ban for an over-the-top challenge. It will also be remembered that captain Coloccini was permitted to miss the Dubai trip.

Tactically things have changed. The elevation of Dave Watson, whose Under 18 team have won 6 out of 22 league games, has seen the defence operate more narrowly but able to spring an offside trap, evidenced by 3 disallowed goals against in 2 games.

emmanuel riviere

We have seen a reversion to a 4-4-2 of sorts, Carver heralding his bravery. His self protestation has been negated somewhat by wingers spending the majority of their time as wing-backs. The selection of the most expensive spectator in the Premier League, Riviere, also goes against that seemingly positive step. To be fair to Riviere, his League Cup goals make him the most successful French permanent striker at SJP (remembering Remy was on loan) since Guivarc’h.

Supporters have every right to question team selection, despite depleted resources. Why Riviere ahead of Perez? What has Gouffran brought back to the team? Why had Cabella been on the bench?

On the plus side, Carver has come across as credible to outsiders. Yes he is local, yes he has a passion for the club, yes he has worked under a true great. Perhaps the players are prepared to speak on his behalf. Total capitulations, notably in the 2nd half and in particular against City, Everton and yes, Leicester, suggest that he is not up to the task. Managing a team is more than laying cones and showing videos.

The league table shows that English managers, perhaps the legacy of the Wilkinson years at the FA, do not have what it takes to match Europe’s finest technical coaches in the Premier League. Even Sunderland have had the wit to go for one of the best. English managers dominate the bottom half of the table, overseas coaches the top.

For once, Ashley deserves some credit for allowing a local lad an opportunity. Where supporters and Ashley will agree is that Carver has been the cheap option. Just as quality is now lacking from other brands that Ashley has cheapened, it is lacking from Newcastle United.

Good luck to Carver for the future. To have worked alongside Sir Bobby and to have managed Newcastle United is a huge privilege to be able to dote on.

If Ashley has any sense, he will now go for a progressive overseas coach – but if Ashley has any sense, he would not have appointed Joe Kinnear ……… twice.

Rex also runs his own website ( which you can visit HERE

  • Andy Wardle


  • Steven Fox

    Already too many games, please take your coaching staff and leave!

  • David Grey

    Give the bloke a chance, he’s black and white through and through.

  • Andy Wardle

    But hands tied by FCB.. He might as well not be there

  • jimmyhindmarsh

    i would prefer to judge him with a decent squad to work with instead of this shower

  • Maximus Moose

    jimmyhindmarsh that wont happen

  • Jail for Ashley

    I’ve read on here and other forums that a few people feel sorry for Carver as he has had his hands tied from the start and that he’s had the job thrust upon him. I personally don’t have any sympathy for him, he publicly stated that he was fine with whatever decisions ‘The board” made regarding transfers and he’d work with what’s on front of him despite as an A badge coach knowing fine well the squad was inadequate. As an insider he must have known that nobody else was coming in to coach the team and he had an opportunity to at least demand that nobody left before taking the job on, in his eagerness to do anything to please his bosses and get the job, he has let himself, the club and the team down. The only person who can be happy now involved with the club can be Mike Ashley.

  • Alsteads

    I think FCB is trying to run NUFC just like Oyston is doing/has done at Blackpool. Both fxxking horrible excuse of men and serve no purpose in life. Vultures.

  • mrkgw

    Carver is cringeworthy with his constant cheesy quotes and the incessant ‘I worked for SBR’ line. He really is dreadful, from results to his trying to muscle his way into the job. Pardew might have warranted an amount of criticism but there is stark contrast between him and Carver. Pardew is a pro, attired accordingly who stood throughout matches trying to organise the troops (of course, his efforts werent always enough). Carver is a track suit boy who hardly moves his backside from the bench. If he gets the Managers job then I honestly feel thats the end for the club. He might be a Geordie but that in itself will never qualify this incompetent for our beloved club.

  • radgiegadgie

    Good article.  On the one hand, JC has not done particularly badly given the teams he has played against and the resource available to him and he has had a bit of bad luck.  That said, he has performed below what he should have and he needs to be punching above his weight at a club like Newcastle which relies on squeezing the most out of the minimum.

  • Mal44

    On the face of it, it wasn’t a silly thing to do to give carver the job until the end of the season and then look to bring someone new in. There would be a bigger field to choose from as managers/coaches in jobs don’t usually want to change mid-season.
    The first mistake, however, was the months delay in coming to that decision for which Charnley has to carry the can. The club drifted during this period and the rot set in as Carver was seen only as a caretaker and the players were in the wrong mindset. Carver made some bad decisions during this period, in particular his FA cup selection and the situation was further exacerbated by Charnley’s inability, or unwillingness, to sign anyone in The transfer window. In fact the already inadequate squad was weakened further.
    Belatedly Carver was then given the job but the message seemed to be coming out that this could well be a permanent appointment beyond the end of the season; another mistake as his performance up to then gave no confidence that this was a good idea. Many supporters have the feeling that a complete overhaul of the coaching staff and squad is necessary.
    This feeling is borne out to some extent by the team performances since Carver’s permanent appointment to the end of the season.Personally I think he has missed a big opportunity here. Instead of adopting a bold selection policy, with a greater emphasis on attacking play, he has more or less followed Pardew’s tactics. In fact the team selection for the Everton game, with Gouffran playing and Perez and cabella on the bench, could well have been picked by Pardew himself. There is also evidence of a lack of discipline in the squad which has cost us dearly. I wonder where our next points will come from; can see us finishing around 14th/15th the way we are heading and I’m not looking forward to the Derby match.
    Big changes are needed in the summer.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Is it the same people that were blaming the lackey JfK for not making signings that are now pointing the finger at the new lackey Lee Charnley for not appointing a manager and bringing in new players, nothing gets done without the fat man’s say or approval, Carver picked that team against Leicester in name only the order came from the top. Is it that people can’t see this or just don’t want to.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Except for that time he called Pellegrini a……. and when he…… and….. and….

  • radgiegadgie

    Mal44 Aye, this is a club run by people who seem to learn as they go along.  They do have a plan (regardless of whether you think it is a good one or a bad one) but execution is constantly flawed.  Interesting to see what happens in Summer, regardless, I doubt it will be dull (unlike the football being served up)

  • Mark Potter

    Doesn’t matter how many times he says he is a Geordie or how black and white he is the fact is he is crap

  • mrkgw

    Accepted. That said, Carver also attempted to go on the attack – against Newcastle supporters vs Southampton. What a dire state of things. Abysmal.

  • Steve Passmoor

    Judgement: incompetent buffoon

  • MilitantGeordie

    We will be judging him by a full season next year because he’s almost certainly getting the job full time. I haven’t seen the odds at the bookies but i’d bang a few quid on it. We’ve heard from Charnley and loads of players how fantastic Carver is, also Ashley is said to be delighted with him.  That pretty much sums up Ashley for me.. he’s delighted that we keep getting beat and playing like crap, but of course we’re almost certainly not getting relegated so… as Ashley said.. delightful!

  • If Carver gets the job .move all the children out of the first three rows .