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The best decision Newcastle have made since sacking John Carver

5 years ago

The John Carver era already feels light years away.

It has not even been three months but it already feels a world away from the poisonous days of John Carver. I shudder to think what may have happened had JC been hired full-time. One word: chaos.

We’re already seeing much better levels of professionalism from the players.

The noises coming from the squad during pre-season hinted they were all much happier with the new coaching team and a fresh start. That appears to be ringing true.

Old Trafford was an early building block and it’ll be great if momentum is exploited. It should be. There are some decent players in that dressing room now and they all have a clean slate.

For the first time since 2010 we witnessed a cup tie (Northampton) where we were able to boss a team from a lower division with relative comfort. Unheard of under Alan Pardew.

I saw John Carver’s recent appearance on Sky’s Goals on Sunday show. He was jovial and looked well, but he was still unable or unwilling to grasp his own tactical shortcomings that cost us so dearly.

I’m not suggesting the appointment of McClaren was a masterstroke, his judgement is still very much in the mixer, but the signs are good as things stand.

As the old cliché goes – let’s see where we are at Christmas.

Derby day thoughts return

Believe it or not but our next encounter with the Mackems isn’t all that far off. Bruised and certainly chastened by recent performances in this fixture, I dread to think what might happen, even though our lovely near neighbours look all over the shop defensively.

The first crack at them will be made harder by the fact we’re away at the Stadium of Plight. I’m nervous already.

The players need to put the defeats to one side and focus on the Black Cats’ fragile back line. Oh and we need a bit more luck and for them to have a bad day at the office for a change.

A recent appearance by Steve McClaren on BBC Radio Newcastle was quite telling. He pointed out to Marco Gabbiadini that SAFC can’t go on winning derbies forever. I sincerely bloody hope that he’s right.

Ayoze looks ready to burst

I don’t mind admitting that Perez remains one of my favourite Newcastle Utd players. The kid plays the game with such a brilliant attitude and he’s got spades of ability to boot. He’s a Rolls Royce that just needs some fine tuning.

He’s found himself on the bench, what with the new arrivals at the club, and he’ll doubtless have a job on his hands forcing his way into the side.

For my money, I think he deserves a run. The lad just needs to get his first goal on the board and plenty more will follow, that’s a cert.

Flor show makes the grade

He’s had more assists in a week than Cabella managed in a whole season being mismanaged by Pardew. He almost scored a last minute winner away at Man Utd. He goes out with a model called Charlotte Spirroni, a Miss Cote D’Azur, don’t you know.

Yes, the life and times of Florian Thauvin have already caught the eye, and he’s only been here a couple of weeks.

Despite speaking very little English and probably living in a hotel, Mr Thauvin (pronounced ‘Toe Van’) has made an immediate impact.

There is plenty more to come from this lad. The pesky nationals will be linking him with a move away before Bonfire Night.

Retro works well for cover show

All credit to Newcastle United for the new look match day programmes this season, with their retro cover designs, a throwback to an era when association football really was a working man’s game.

I have to say that the designs look absolutely brilliant and for the first time in many years it actually made me want to buy one. It’s the best decision they’ve made since…erm…sacking John Carver.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

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