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John Carver: The highs and…lows at Newcastle United

7 years ago

With news that John Carver’s time at Newcastle is over again, it is only fair that we look back at his time and the memories he created during the last four and a half years, in particular the last 6 months since he became head coach.

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    • Having previously worked under Sir Bobby Robson, Carver returned to the club in January 2011 to assist Alan Pardew on a short-term basis. He would go on to sign a five and a half year deal.
    • Carver was fined £1000 for his conduct during Newcastle’s game against Wigan where Callum McManaman’s horror tackle sparked an angry reaction from the assistant manager.
    • With tensions running high between the fans as the Pardew Out campaign gained momentum, John Carver had a few choice words with one Newcastle fan during the warm up at St. Mary’s Stadium. Following the 4-0 defeat, Carver apologised for his verbal assault on the fan, stating that he felt “embarrassed to be on the Newcastle United coaching staff” after the thumping Southampton gave NUFC.
    • As the fans got their wish and Alan Pardew headed to Crystal Palace, John Carver took over the reins on an interim basis. Carver’s first game in charge was a 3-3 draw with Burnley.
    • With Carver keen to become manager on a more permanent basis, he fielded a weakened team away to Leicester City in the third round of the FA Cup, which led to a 1-0 defeat.
    • On 26th January 2015, Carver was given the role of Head Coach until the end of the season.
    • Carver recorded his first win away to Hull City, with a 3-0 victory at the scene of Alan Pardew’s infamous headbutt in the previous season.
    • Despite his heroic return from cancer, Jonas Gutierrez was left out of the squad to take on Tottenham Hotspur. The player was not injured, with it later being revealed that there had been a falling out between Carver and Jonas.
    • Carver clashed with fans again during another defeat; losing 3-2 at home to Swansea City. Fans near the dugout argued with Carver with the head coach’s conduct questioned once again. Carver again apologised and arranged to meet with the fans to discuss their differences of opinions.
    • Carver’s Newcastle side suffered eight consecutive defeats in the Premier League; a new club record. This slide dragged Newcastle towards the relegation zone.
    • The eighth defeat came at the King Power Stadium, with Nigel Pearson’s Leicester side battering Newcastle 3-0, with Carver’s side ending the game with nine men. Following the defeat, Carver told the press that he believed that Mike Williamson got sent off on purpose to avoid taking part in the relegation battle.
    • Despite adversity, Carver continued to remain upbeat during his press conferences, declaring that he still believed himself to be the “best coach in the Premier League”. Other snippets from his press conferences included his affiliation with Sir Bobby Robson and being a fan of Newcastle United.
  • In Newcastle’s final away game of the season, the magpies led 1-0 at half time, with a win guaranteeing the club’s Premier League status. A second half capitulation saw Newcastle lose 2-1 and go into the final weekend with relegation still a very real possibility.
  • It was a fairytale ending for Carver, with a 2-0 victory over West Ham ensuring Premier League survival, thanks to goals from Moussa Sissoko and Jonas Gutierrez.
  • Was given the job of informing Ryan Taylor and Jonas Gutierrez that they would be leaving the club. Carver did both jobs in one phone call.
  • On 9th June 2015, John Carver was released from his contract at Newcastle United, along with Steve Stone.

What a rollercoaster it has been. I have some sympathy for Carver.

He was never a manager, he was always a coach. He was thrust into a position that he just was not cut out for.

Unfortunately, it was a position he had no doubt dreamed about and could not turn down, despite his shortcomings.

In the end, Carver’s decision to achieve his dream and manage Newcastle United has led to him losing his job at the club he loves. Thanks for the memories John, it’s been…shi*e.

You can follow James on Twitter @jrutherford11 


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