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.

(To feature like Chris, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views those of the author etc etc)

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.

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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…..

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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.



  • Peaco

    Couldn’t agree more.

  • jack1x

    Exactly the way I feel , I’m afraid it’s muchw the same as last season , could be even worse and if at the end of next season we are involved in a survival Sunday again, nothing will change ..It’s soul destroying to even think about it

  • truemagpie

    The more I read, the more depressed I become.

  • Porciestreet

    Hey, I’m a decent bloke and a lifetime fan but doesn’t mean i could manage the mags does it…..?

  • prestondave

    Good article but think youre a bit naive if you think the club doesnt realise what little effort they would have to put in to make us better. FCB knows exactly what he could do to make us bigger and better and he has the resources to do it. The criminal part is he wont do it because he is a gambler and can scrape by without doing so. That is why many fans need to decide very quickly- more of the same next season or join the ranks of dissent and stop giving the fat leach your hard earned money.

  • DownUnderMag

    Like it or not, the days of us playing end-to-end balls-to-the-wall free-flowing attacking football with a “we can’t defend so we’ll just try and outscore you” mentality are gone, and with the state of finances in the World Game, probably won’t ever be seen again.  Clubs that don’t spend play it safe to ensure they survive.  Clubs that spend big play it safe so that they can win things.
    To that end, I don’t care who gets the managers job.  They can play defensive football all they like, as long as it is EFFECTIVE!  I also want to see them backed financially to bring in the quality and number of players required for them to be effective.  One thing I don’t want to see is a manager who plays boring football but still loses games, or an owner who won’t give them the tools to work with to do their job (or both).

    Until I see otherwise I will give McClaren or whoever gets the job the benefit of the doubt and support them….as long as the owner backs them too!

  • wor monga

    This article wins first prize in the Mag’s summer
    competition to depress us all…

    …it only fell short on one item about McClaren’s past
    history…that bit where he got Boro to win a game without them having one shot
    on target…that knowledge might work well for us also…seeing as in quite a few
    of our games last season we never managed any shots on target!!!

    …Oh, and by the way…if you want a team to be successful it
    must first be consistently…efficient and hard to beat…entertainment value comes
    next…

  • prestondave

    Porciestreet Nah, you live too far away. Mind , Im sure Fat Mike will fly you in on his chopper. Ooh err, what a perilous thought.

  • Gordonthetoony

    By all accounts we could have a coaching team of McLaren,  Carver, Lee Clark,  Stoner & Beardsley. ( Woodman could be off ) Now if that floats your boat then god help us.  One word says it all to me WOEFUL

  • jack1x

    Totally agree with you , it’s depressing to think that this coming season could be worse than the one we’ve just had.As long as this regime is in place things will never change , years to come we will be saying the same things on here , because he is not gonna sell any time soon .Boycotting is the only way forward

  • BrianKD

    Couldn’t agree more carver, Ashley, Charney and Carr equals cacc and nothing more. Maclaren is another in the same mould.

  • TonnekToon

    Its like living in the movie Groundhog day . Fatty obviously cares little about his reputation , the Club , the fans the area . To come out the other week and try and blag it in front of the cameras , shows he’s more front than Blackpool . He clearly just want’s to shaft us . Its about time he got it all back in spades .  He shouldn’t  be getting another penny from hardworking fans , don’t renew season tickets, Boycott his Tat shops .

  • NufcToon

    ‘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’
    Good analogy, The struggle is that we just cant change garages and that is truly where the fat man has us and he knows it.

  • cwtoon88

    DownUnderMag Hi I don’t expect end to end gung ho football what I do expect is to see us have a go and be relatively positive and not sit 2 defensive mids in front of the back 4 when the opposition have 1 up front or to go for the win when playing teams like west brom at home rather than taking a draw.

    Teams like Swansea and Southampton can have a go and be positive so why cant we? Generally the positive teams do better from what Iv noticed

    One of things you go for when most people want when they go to the games is to be entertained, whether that is by playing good football or just having a go and being positive, its really not too much to ask.

    Im also of the opinion when playing positive it gets players confidence up so they do better and it takes more pressure of the defence

  • cwtoon88

    wor monga As I mentoned below I don’t expect Keegan style football I would just like us to be a bit positive after years of Pardew and looking at Mclarens past endeavors he really isnt a very positive manager

    In our 5th placed season in the first half of it we were praised for having such a tough to break down and efficient team, but because we weren’t positive in the way we played it eventually bit us on the ass and our team became so slack it was unbelievable.

    if you play positively the way the likes of swansea and southampton do your players grow in confidence and improve, also you take the pressure of your back 4. Sitting back and inviting pressure on is a huge problem for us and under pressure constantly even the best defences will struggle eventually

  • DownUnderMag

    cwtoon88 DownUnderMag oh there’s no arguments from me.  One of my biggest critiques of last season and under Pardew in general (which Carver kept going with) was that we too often went out not to lose games rather than take the game to opposition.  It actually puts more pressure on an already “rabbit in the headlights” defence by inviting the opposition to attack with very little threat of us going the other way.

    On those rare occasions we did play attacking stuff we did look a better side, albeit we often lost due to quality of players on show anyway, and if you know Williamson is likely to make a fluffed clearance or Colo caught out of position then I do understand to some degree not wanting to expose them as much.  

    Hopefully we can find a new balance under the new head coach.

  • Toon Magpie

    NufcToon Not sure you could equate a football team to a garage. It is you who visit St James Park and  pay money for entertaining 90mins of football or not. IF you don’t like it simple don’t go. It is this incessive going and complaining about it from people like you, make a stand and don’t go back. Then simple delete the mag from oour favourites why keep complaing about the garage you go to for the next ten years when you don’t go. Choose a different garage to park your butt in for a service.

  • Toon Magpie

    BrianKD He has at least won somethings.

  • Conman

    Surely the first sentence should read five or six years, not months.