John Carver took us within a hair’s breadth of relegation. Hold that thought for a minute.

How can they even consider him for the job? I can’t really recall a worse run of form by any Newcastle team. It’s been horrendous. From February 28th to May 24th – zero wins. Just a few draws keeping heads above water, until Sunday’s heroics closed the barn door on what would have been a complete disaster for the club and even deeper nightmare for the fans.

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Amidst the relief of seeing Hull fall short, and not NUFC, I have to take serious issue with claims that we were somehow unlucky during that slide down the Premier League table.

Carver said it a few times in some of his more horrific press conferences, and Mike Ashley alluded to being lucky in that interview he gave to Sky TV, albeit via his PR people.

If you look at what unfolded in the final three months of the season we’re actually very fortunate not be making plans for Rotherham Utd and MK Dons away.

First off there was the win away to Hull City on January 31st. It was a deserved victory but in the grand scheme of things, what a six pointer that turned out to be. We’ve had four points off Hull this season. Absolutely crucial. Lest we forget, NUFC  were 0-2 down at home to Hull back in September before Cisse’s brace. Lucky.

Our best friend was the fixture computer over the final hurdles. Hull simply got into bigger trouble and ended up with harder games at the business end of the season. Lucky.

Special mention should also go to a small town in Lancashire called Burnley. Their less than expected victory away at Hull, when already relegated, effectively kept Newcastle out of the bottom three on a weekend when we had to cling on grimly for a point against West Brom at SJP. My personal thanks go to Danny Ings for scoring that goal. Lucky.

And let’s not forget that West Brom hit the woodwork when it was easier to score, something else which kept us out of the drop zone that day. Lucky.

Far from being unlucky, Newcastle had everything go their way. Other teams being worse has saved the day.

The win over West Ham put the seal on it for sure, but prior to that we need to be clear that things could have been a lot worse than what actually transpired had it not been for a dollop of luck.

The very fact that Carver and Ashley alluded to needing luck tells its own story. Is that what we have resorted to? Feeling sorry for ourselves and hoping other teams were just a smidgen poorer. Pathetic.

Ashley simply must change course and allow better footballing decisions to be made by the club. Carver, who I maintain ought to have resigned by now, cannot be the manager. They need a fresh approach, with a new coach and an injection of new players who are up for the battle.

The Ashley regime is expert in failing to build on good moments.

They failed to kick on in 2012 when fifth place was secured.

They failed to change course in the summer of 2013 after they very nearly went down. They failed to replace Pardew last summer when that was the best option for all concerned.

And they failed in January this year when they opted not to recruit a manager or buy a defender.

We have to hope history doesn’t repeat itself, because our luck will run out at some point, and we’ll be where Hull City find themselves today.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton



  • Noir Et Blanc

    Excellent article and I couldn’t agree more. The fact that the John Carver debate still rages on is symptomatic of everything that is wrong at the club. A clean sweep is required without delay!

  • prestondave

    Couldnt agree more.

  • toon tony

    And next season we’re lucky Boro aren’t in the Premier league. …that would be 6 more derby points we would give away.

  • Mal44

    Already the feeling of optimism following the Ashley interview is fast disappearing. First of all Charnley is clearly still in charge and is going to be making the major day to day decisions. Considering that his decisions in January almost cost us dearly I find this disappointing to say the least. Previous statements that we had done all the preparatory work in assessing head coach candidates are obviously a load of rubbish and we are now set for weeks of the club continuing to drift and apparently we will still have carver, stone etc. whatever happens. This will seriously reduce our chances of getting a decent head coach.
    Ashley needs to be more proactive and clear out Charnley and the coaching staff which I doubt would cost more than the Pardew compensation we received. Then we might get somewhere. The current lot just aren’t up to it.

  • kuromori

    I’d say our Premier League ambition is to always hope that there are three worse teams and that 17th is our minimal placing.

    Good thing we didn’t try in any cup competitions – wouldn’t want to have got caught up in a relegation scrap, would we?

  • TonnekToon

    It says everything there is to say about the regime , If  Carvers still being discussed as a possible/probable candidate for the job . The true faith ? absolutely  NO faith !

  • DZA187

    toon tony Nah, we’re not in yorkshire! :)

  • A lex

    I always think back two years to our relegation close shave then. Swansea’s vital (for us) win at Wigan when they had their mind on the FA Cup………We’ve had ‘luck’ with us for a while.

  • Chemical Dave

    If anyone did have a “feeling of optimism” after fattys interview then they deserve everything they get.

  • Mal44

    Chemical Dave  Hope not. I’ve a doctor’s appointment tomorrow :)

  • Toon Magpie

    Carver should be gone far far away.

  • Toon Magpie

    We stayed up.

  • DownUnderMag

    There have been many times during Ashley’s tenure as owner, that we could easily have built the club up and pushed forward.  A 5th place finish, a great run of form in the league, whatever – they were used instead to believe safety was assured, that further investment was no longer needed to keep us up.  There is lies the problem.  As with any sport, if you don’t continuously try to improve, you end up going backwards…we have been promised a change, but the fans are largely past falling for con-artist lies and posturing, we need to see results, we need to see proof and we need to see it long term, not just for the short term until safety is assured or season ticket sales have improved!

  • And judging by this piece of drivel, anyone. anywhere, who scores a goal at any time or has an opponent who trips over a piece of grass is lucky.
    Wottapileofbollox.

  • mrkgw

    Very valid points. And, whats the betting that the club fail to appoint a proper manager until Carver returns from his holiday. That also, is pathetic.

  • Heggers

    Mr Ender, your glass is always half empty. Isn’t it? We beat L’pool, Chelsea, Tottenham and a bunch of others. All in all, this secured us 39 points. Well beneath what we should expect – and accept, but just enough to keep us alive. Going in to the new season, we do so knowing that Hull won’t. Not because they only managed one point against the Black & Whites, but cause they only managed to scramble together 35 points in all over the season. We can only improve in the PL next season. Hull can’t!

  • PhilYare

    Heggers we won’t improve