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Mike Ashley and John Carver proved wrong and Newcastle United were lucky lucky

6 years ago

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


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