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What ‘Pole Position’ really is: So even John Carver understands

6 years ago

Thursday saw John Carver yet again describe himself as being in ‘Pole Position’ for the Newcastle Head Coach job long-term.

Pardew’s former assistant doesn’t appear to quite grasp what the term pole position is all about, so I thought it was worth giving him an easy to follow explanation.

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So here goes:

Definition of ‘Pole Position’

(In motor racing) The starting position on the inside of the front row, generally considered the best one

(In general) An advantageous starting position

At his pre-Leicester press conference John Carver said:

“But listen, I am in pole position at the moment and until I’m told otherwise, nothing is going to change.

The term pole position when used in terms of who is most likely to get a job, usually refers to that person having particular qualifications, experience etc that makes them appear, at least on paper, the best person for the job.

It can also refer to somebody who has maybe stepped into a vacancy on a temporary basis and so it can look as though it is their job to lose.

Going back to December when Alan Pardew left, at that point we could all have reasonably come to the conclusion that John Carver was indeed in pole position to get the job longer term.

However unsuitable we might have thought he was for the job, it is simple common sense that he was now in place and if he did reasonably well and say, kept Newcastle in a similar position to how Alan Pardew had left them in the league, then to an outsider he’d have been seen to do enough to deserve the job.

Many Newcastle fans may have thought the same, following the thought process that we weren’t going to get anybody great anyway and so with the results ok and he’s a Geordie/fan etc etc.

So there is John Carver on January 1, in pole position, front of the grid, the Newcastle job his to lose…

Sixteen matches later and Newcastle have won two matches.

Sixteen matches later and John Carver has just presided over the worst losing streak in Newcastle United history, seven straight games.

Sixteen matches later and John Carver told everybody he was going to put the strongest possible team out in the FA Cup, only to then leave out all of Newcastle’s best players who were all ok to play in the following Premier League match.

Sixteen matches later and the United fans have been subjected to even more nonsense in pre and post-match press conferences than even we were subjected to by Alan Pardew.

Sixteen matches later and we have had Carver arguing and allegedly swearing at and offering to fight supporters, just as he did at Southampton earlier this season.

Pole position – yes John you were on pole position on January 1, ahead of the competition and it was a job to lose.

Since then it has been the equivalent of the flag going up and the race starting, only for John Carver to stall the Newcastle United ‘racing’ car and sit there like a lame duck whilst the opposition all drive by, waving at you as they go.

A prime example of course being Crystal Palace, starting at the back of the grid in 18th place (in the Premier League) when changing managers at the end of December, then roaring past the stalled Carver and NUFC, now 7 points clear of Newcastle.

Even tomorrow’s opponents Leicester have gone from being dead in the water to now potentially overtaking United before the end of the season.

John Carver has taken a team that surely couldn’t be relegated this season, to one that could very well be if both Leicester and Sunderland win on Saturday.

Maybe a better motor racing pole position comparison is that John Carver has thrown a load of oil on the track himself, then jumped in the car and driven through it, thus spinning off the track and wrecking the car.

I’ll leave the last word to John Carver himself, who also had this to say at Thursday’s press conference:

“I had a chat to Chris Ramsey and he said, ‘I have seen the sides you’re putting out John, it is difficult’.”

Newcastle’s internal appointment who has completely wrecked this second half of the season, then quoting arguably the only person who has done a worse job than himself at QPR, also an internal appointment.

You couldn’t make it up.

The only pole position John Carver could possibly still have, is in a parallel universe where Newcastle United is ran by an evil dictator who couldn’t give a toss, who would give the job to somebody simply because they would do every single little thing they were asked to do, even if it made them look ridiculous and wound the fans up even more.



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