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



  • Sickandtiredstill

    Look at that photo. Put a headscarf on him (and a tab in his mouth) and he’d be Dot Cottons double! Come to think of it, old Dot would probably have done a better job here, and Nic would have made a more threatening center forward than Rivierre.

  • Steve Wharton

    As much as the bloke is decent, passionate and a geordie, he clearly hasn’t got the skills to manage a team in the top flight (or not as the case maybe). I feel for him being put in that position, but he wanted that position, and the mismanagement of not investing in the team during the January Transfer Window, stupid mistakes on the pitch resulting in red cards, and his lack of man-management of players has resulted us in where we are. If the club had ambition to appoint a head coach/manager when Pardew left, we wouldnt be where we are now. If the club had invested in fresh players in January, we wouldnt be where we are. Ashley took a punt on staying up, with Carver in charge, however, even if we stay up, it will have massive effects on people’s interest in the summer for pre-season games, new players, and any potential new coach coming in. For me, I’ve lost interest in Newcastle United for a number of years – not seen a game since we played Cov City at their place in the Championship – and now follow a local non league team in the Warwickshire. I’ll watch NUFC if we’re playing on the TV – but I have no real interest to go watch them play live/buy a new shirt. Sadly, when I moved down south, one of the few links I had with the North was NUFC – that slowly eroded away. Sure the above doesn’t stop the Ashley from counting his cash, and I’m sure it won’t stop Carver from feeling he’s the best coach in the division.

  • TonnekToon

    Like a blind cobblers thumb ! Poor bloke hasn’t done his self any favors sticking with the job . He should have walked months ago if he thought anything of his reputation. In reality i would think he’s shot his chances of a good job elsewhere once and for all . Not a good coach and doesn’t seem very bright . I think when he shuts his eyes , he thinks we can’t see him ! Really hope we don’t stick with him at the end of may .

  • toon tony

    I honestly thought that even a village idiot could have come in and got us to 40pts by the end of the season. Well John you’ve proved me wrong. !!!!!

  • Wallsendstu

    Unfortunatley Ashley has that effect, look at the nonesense that spews out of Moncur and Beardsly. Carver is well out of his depth and should never be put infront of reporters and cameras. I can imagine the fat man and penfold killing themselves laughing at the position they have put him in. He should have been sacked after Southampton and his offer to fight supporters.

  • Andgeo

    Big time Charlie!!!

  • stepaylor

    job was always going to be tough and i think we all knew that. I was on his side until the selection choices for the sunderland game. Made no sense,

    It is a shame because im sure he really cares but in the end its a weak squad with poor leadership and im not sure there is any great respect for Carver, especially now with him criticising players in public

  • Phildene

    Carver is doing exactly what Ashley wants-so far- and that is purely to keep them in the Premier League. I said so far, as they’re near that dratted ‘line’ of relegation. He also suits Ashley’s pocket quite nicely thank you! and he;s another Yes man so suits yet again. Ashley and Charnley know nowt at all about football and Charnley will do what ever he’s told by Ashley. 

    All round, Carver need the job to have a job with a regular wage coming in and thats what he’s got. No other club on the planet would employ him and think he;s knows that, thats why he’s not resigning-what a lose all that dosh! no way!

    So the clubs in fretful and is going bot be very interesting to see what happens next…….

  • Crawcrooklad

    I have to say I never rated him. I can’t recall a Newcastle team with any real tactical nous (even under Sir Bobby) while he was the first team coach. And I’m seriously sick of the Geordie ticket, doesn’t make him a decent coach, otherwise we’d be taking the Aston Villa fans’ advice and appointing Ant & Dec

  • Mal44

    No way will he tender his resignation in the summer, and who could blame him when he has still 5 years or so on his contract. Ashley is unlikely to sack him (and stone) because he would have to pay compensation, even though he got £3 million plus for Pardew. If that’s the case then who is going to come in if he cannot bring his own coaching team? Nobody with a decent track record that’s for sure. I don’t think our current coaching team are up to it and unless they are going to be cleared out I cannot see us progressing as we need a credible new head coach to attract decent players. A shambles.

  • partworntyres

    carvers pre match team talk ….’ geordies – pies – geordies – pies  score it in the goal. geordies – pies – geordies – pies header it into the net’. –  repeat for 15 mins.

  • DownUnderMag

    Passion doesn’t make a good manager, otherwise there would be plenty of fans out there who should be in charge of their respective clubs.  I can’t see Carver walking away, he is talking like he thinks the job is his despite the run of results, plus he’s already waved his 5-year contract in everyone’s faces so he isn’t going anywhere.

    I think the main thing that has gone against Carver is how much he plays on the passion element but has gone to extreme lengths to distance himself from the very fans he is supposed to have a connection with.

    I just can’t help but think that had he tempered the whole thing then he could be a folk hero…all it needed was him to make a statement such as “this is a tough job and we need the right person for the job, the squad is thin and there needs to be huge rebuilding efforts in the summer.  I’m lucky to have been given the job, but let me be clear, I consider myself a caretaker and my job is to get the players up for the fight for the rest of the season and help make the new managers job as easy as possible when they come in, if I do a good job with the squad available then perhaps i’ll get offered the job, but i’m not focused on that and will happily relinquish to a better qualified manager when they are appointed”. Done!  No expectations, no delusions of grandeur, no sense of trying to brown nose fatty to score a job without proving himself…

  • StaceyRandomness

    Sadly the club will be relegated with 2 geordies at the helm. Alan Shearer and John Carver.

  • jimblag

    StaceyRandomness Very true, Shearer cannot be blamed though, the club was a mess and 8 games isn’t long enough to fix such a bad team.
    Carver on the other hand has a squad of players that not long ago beat chelsea, man city and liverpool.