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The Wrong Men

7 years ago

Like many of you, I have watched in dismay the happenings at the club we all love over the last 5-6 months.

After the initial joy of Alan Pardew finally being gone (admittedly he left of his own accord rather than receiving the P45 he should have received) we saw a host of exciting names linked with the role, making us think of exciting times ahead. That is until the announcement came that we were giving it to John ‘I knew Sir Bobby’ Carver until the end of the season.

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Some weren’t happy at a man who had been brought in by Pardew and was involved in a lot of the faults of the Pardew regime, through his so called ‘coaching’, was being given any chance to manage the team.Though others wanted to give him a chance as ‘he couldn’t be much worse than Pardew’ and ‘we couldn’t possibly go down from here’. With the benefit of hindsight, we now know how much worse he could be and how close we came to going down.

After ‘Survival Sunday’ and  Ashley coming out with his PR  exercise, even the most cynical of us, especially those who had worried Carver would get the job full-time, had a little bit of hope that now we might get someone slightly positive in and we wouldn’t end up in this position again.

Unfortunately, since then it’s all gone just a bit negative again……

Ashley is a big part of the problem but I worry though that the Ashley out campaign makes many ignore those beneath Ashley, who need to take their share of the blame

I will start with our so called managing director, Lee Charnley (AKA Penfold). He appears to be a symptom of a problem seen in many big companies; the employee who Is not that bothered about having influence on what the company does, they just want to be a manager and be in charge.

This person, as I’m sure many of you have seen in your working life, doesn’t know much about the job or what is required, but they get on by saying the right thing and kissing up until the point they get to a high enough level where they can sit and admire their own self-importance.

Those who have dealt with this sort, will know what they are like to deal with and the effect they can have on those around them..

The next person to bring up is a man who avoids a lot of criticism due to past good work, I’m talking about Graham Carr. He did a great job a few years back taking advantage of contract situations to get quality players on the cheap such as Ba, Cabaye, Debuchy and Sissoko.

Some say he discovered them, but as all of the more successful ones just mentioned were full internationals prior to signing, they weren’t exactly unknowns. Regardless of that he had done well though.

That is until this season, despite Janmaat (also a well known international) doing well and Perez showing so much promise, the jury is very much out on the summer 2014 crop, in particular Riviere and Cabella.

I think some people fell into the stats trap with Cabella when we signed him, saw all the goals he had scored and expected him to boss it, without seeing him play and flagging up the physical qualities he lacked. Saying that, with Cabella he still has some hope of coming good, Riviere on the other hand…..

Riviere has to be one of the poorest natural footballers I’ve seen in a toon shirt, he has the physical attributes and works hard but his composure and especially finishing, are woeful. Encouraging the club to pay £6m for him makes me think Carr is losing the plot,  that notion only encouraged in recent weeks when I hear Carr is the key champion of Schteve McLaren.

Thefinal person to bring up isn’t a person, it’s persons. Our entire coaching staff throughout the whole club, it’s rotten to the core, the struggles for teams at all levels within the club at the end of last season was nothing short of shocking.

Add to that the first team’s inability to defend set-pieces and ‘plan’ of hoofing every offensive set-piece towards Williamson when he can’t even head the ball straight, shows our coaches can’t do the simplest of things. It’s sad to say that when we get a corner I’m more worried about the other team scoring on the counter.

John Carver to me is the embodiment of what is wrong with our coaching staff, he appears totally and utterly clueless when it comes to simple aspects such as organization, positioning, tactics and tempo. I keep hearing ‘but he’s a decent bloke and a fan’, well there are plenty of decent blokes and fans sitting every night in the pubs around Tyneside, Just because they are a decent bloke, doesn’t mean they should be coaching premier league footballers, never mind managing them.

My big worry was he would get the job full-time but if the latest reports are to be believed, it looks like that won’t be the case and this leads me away from who needs to take their share of the blame and onwards to who can keep us mediocre at best in the future…

That man of course is Steve “Schteve” McLaren

This is the McLaren who in his last 4 jobs was sacked by Wolfsburg, Twente & Derby and walked out of Forest in a huff. Like Pardew before him, a man not good enough for lower leagues is likely to come in and take charge of the 7th biggest club in terms of revenue in the country.

To me it is just Pardew Mk II, he is the typical English manager who will play negative and would rather go to try and not lose a game than try to win it. I’m not going to deny at times he has been very effective at it, he even managed to win a game at Boro without a shot on target!

Looking at his greatest achievements in terms of winning the League Cup at Boro and also winning the Dutch league at Twente, his record reminds me of Graeme Souness. In terms of winning an inferior foreign league and winning the League Cup and we all know how well Souness turned out for us under a better regime ( in terms of supporting the manager).

I also look at his Dutch league winning season and see that his Twente team scored 43 goals less (and conceded 3 more) than the Ajax team that finished second, being more renowned for being efficient and hard to beat, rather than playing good football.

You have to applaud the success but I’m a firm believer that if you play positive football you will get your rewards eventually and do improve (Leicester this season for example). If you play negative you will be found out ( Pardew here) and when McClaren went back to Twente, he was found out.

At Boro, yes he won them a trophy, but if you speak to most Boro fans they will agree that McLaren played really negatively despite having talented players such as Mendieta, Juninho and Zenden to name just a few in the squad at different times.

The less said of his time as England manager the better…..

In short, his best attribute for the job in my view is that he isn’t John Carver, which says a lot in itself.

I think like Pardew before him he will be really grateful for the job and that is one of the reasons he will get it, so he will tow the party line and be a good boy.

I’m sure some fans are saying give him a chance; I honestly have to ask why should we?

You wouldn’t go back to a garage that ripped you off if they had brought a new mechanic in who also had a reputation of ripping you off, so why would you support the same regime with a new puppet at the front? If Pardew came back would we give him a chance?

It’s heartbreaking to me to see such a waste of potential at the club I still love, which used to be my club. We have clear talent (albeit with some issues) in terms of the likes of Krul, Sissoko, Cisse and Janmaat as well as promising youngsters such as Perez, Haidara, Abeid and Aarons, maybe even a talented Siem De Jong if he gets fit.

So with some quality additions and in particular a decent positive Head Coach, we could have went somewhere.

It amazes me that the board don’t realize how little positive stuff they have to do, to get most onside. Even going for someone like Vieira, despite him lacking experience, it was exciting and positive and gave us some hope against logic.

Unfortunately, if the reports of Steve McClaren are true, I will feel even more disenchanted with the club.


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