A tragic fall from grace for a proud Geordie…and we’re not even relegated yet
Much has already been written about John Carver. Most of it has been negative, and rightly so. It’s already a truly appalling legacy of defeat and mismanagement – and the season isn’t over yet. He could yet preside over relegation to the Championship from a position of mid-table security.
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Carver’s fall from grace is already complete. There is no way back for him, even if we stay up. If he’s given the role full time then the club will spiral into obscurity.
I did fear he’d make things worse, not better, and I’m willing to bet many fans felt the same when it became clear that a manager was not arriving post Alan Pardew. It amazes me how ordinary fans can see what’s wrong, yet the powers that be (Charnley, Ashley) can’t see the wood for the trees.
I can’t doubt John Carver’s passion for the Newcastle job. The man has it in spades. JC bleeds black and white, that is abundantly clear. He’s trying all that he knows to get the points we need to retain our status as a top flight football club.
That battle is far from lost. There is all to play for over the remaining two games and with 36 points on the board Newcastle know it could be as little as one win to see Mr Ashley’s lucrative TV cash bonanza safely banked for another year.
The problem is that John Carver has now become a tragic figure. He’s a skipper at the helm of the Titanic. A man on the edge. Out of his depth. Feeling the pressure.
Like him or loathe him, he was a coach who spent many years working with Sir Bobby Robson in a golden era that I look back on almost more fondly than the Keegan years. His part in that wonderful four years is a matter of record, but the current malaise means Carver will be remembered more for failure than success.
It’s terrible to see such division now. Carver is further away from the fans than ever and the relationship has broken down.
Here is a coach whose conduct with the fans has been completely unacceptable. He’s had verbal spats with supporters and then ducked the issue by claiming he’s getting unfair levels of abuse from the home crowd. He’s even had a pop at the stewards.
This is a man who recently lauded Peter Reid and then poured scorn on the words of Jamie Carragher, a European cup winner. He’s at war with the pundits and it’s just pathetic to see that going on.
His team selection at Sunderland was probably the worst I have ever seen in a derby game. A striker and a winger in the centre of midfield?
He has failed to get the best out of the players and all the while he performs shoddy, lip smacking interviews where he trots out nothing but poorly judged claptrap.
There can be no doubt that those above Carver have made huge mistakes, either by accident or at the behest of an owner obsessed with cost cutting. JC has been dealt a bad hand and has been left to sort out the mess that was left behind.
But his brief was to manage and coach the first team and to get results. To that end he has failed, and that will be remembered for many years.
My advice to him: tender your resignation in the summer.
You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton