John Carver has been speaking about his relationship with Mike Ashley.
Carver says that when he was put in charge after Alan Pardew’s departure, Mike Ashley would ring him every week.
As well as calling him before every match, Mike Ashley would also come and see John Carver after the final whistle, whenever he went to a game.
The out of work manager says that Ashley would always ask his advice as to whether he should go to the next match, as he didn’t want to interfere with the head coach’s chances of winning any particular game.
Interesting and ironic to hear this after last weekend’s goings on.
The Times and other media revealed that Mike Ashley hadn’t talked to Rafa Benitez for three months and the United boss was asked if he was going to be seeing Ashley after the Spurs match at St James Park.
Rafa was quizzed by Sky Sports and he said that it wasn’t up to him, that it was the club’s owner who decided if they spoke.
Later it was revealed that even whilst Benitez was doing his post-match media commitments, Mike Ashley had left St James Park without having spoken to his manager
Also, John Carver saying that Ashley went to great lengths not to interfere with the manager/head coach and players on a match day, not wanting to negatively influence things.
Sadly, last weekend Ashley did exactly that. Nobody would claim it affected the result but it hardly helped that Mike Ashley timed his ridiculous Sky Sports PR statement (‘interview’) to go out only a few hours after the final whistle, with quotes released in the days leading up to the Tottenham match and even some on the morning of the game.
Rather than trying to assist the best manager that he is surely ever going to employ from here on in, Ashley instead seems determined to only want to try and win some daft PR battle, minimising the blame for the owner for the lack of backing he is giving to Rafa Benitez.
You truly couldn’t make it up.
I’m convinced that if John Carver hadn’t taken us to the very brink of relegation on that last day of the 2014/15 season and finished only a couple of places higher, then Ashley would definitely have kept him in the job.
The perfect candidate (in Ashley’s eyes), someone who did what he was told to do and was happy to have no say on transfers or any other important matters at the club.
John Carver speaking to Radio 5 Live:
‘When you were in there running Newcastle United, how hands on is Mike Ashley?’
“I can only speak from my experience and he (Mike Ashley) would call me up at the end of each week and say…
‘Good luck for the game at the weekend, do you want me to come? Because I don’t really want to take the emphasis from the team. So if I come to the game and the fans are distracted by me, they start having a go at me, so if you want me to come, if not I will stay away’.
“If he didn’t come to the game he wished me all the best .
“If he came to the game I would always speak to him afterwards. Have a two or three minute conversation – but he never ever interfered with what I did, never told me to do anything.
“People talk about cup games, he never told me not to put a strong team out.
“You have Lee who runs the club and you have Mike.”