In the lead-up to tonight’s match at Anfield, and in the aftermath of another shocking derby defeat, John Carver has pointed the finger at Newcastle United’s overseas signings as a massive potential problem at St. James’ Park.
The Newcastle Head Coach says that when you sign players from France or from other countries outside the UK, you don’t know what you are getting in terms of personality/character.
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After the loss to Sunderland, Carver named five players who were beyond criticism; Williamson, Colback, Jonas, Ryan Taylor and Janmaat; three English, one Dutch and an Argentinian.
When you consider that Sissoko, Cabella, Riviere and Gouffran were all involved, it is pretty clear that the French honeymoon is over, at least for John Carver seemingly.
John Carver quoted in the Telegraph:
“You’ve got to try and do as much homework as you can and find out about their personality, because we’ve lost five derby games in a row. There’s something within the make-up within this group of players.
“And I say within their DNA, that when it comes to a derby game, there’s something not right. There’s something not right within their make-up. No matter how hard you try and no matter what you try and do, it’s an issue.
“It is very difficult sometimes because, if you’re dealing in the French market or the German market or the Spanish market, then it’s very difficult to find out a little bit about their personality, about how they are around the place. It is dead easy if you’re dealing with a British club.”
There is little doubt that problems have existed for some time in terms of the backbone and character of the squad, though it is a bit unfair to simply blame it on foreign/French.
The collapses we have seen in recent seasons and the current 3 wins in 18 matches run, come about from a weakness and poison throughout the whole way the club is run, lack of investment in the squad meaning there are risks taken on pretty much every signing.
Whether it is players with a history of injury problems (Marveaux, Ben Arfa, de Jong) or the lottery of expecting players to make the transition from weaker overseas leagues (Cabella, Riviere and pretty much every other signing Newcastle make…), you never quite know what you are going to get, as John Carver so eloquently points out.
However, his words would carry a bit more weight if he watched what he said at other times, especially in terms of remembering what he has said previously.
This is what John Carver said in the lead-up to the Sunderland match when asked about the number of foreign players at Newcastle:
“There’s a lot of people out there who say that because we have got so many foreign players, we don’t understand what it (the derby) means.
“But let me tell you. There are a lot of guys in that room and I think just about all of them have been involved in at least one – if not more. They do know what it means. I think it is an easy excuse to say you don’t know what a derby game means.”