John Carver reveals philosophy “Good man-management, that counts more than any tactics”
John Carver famously declared, ‘I still think I’m the best coach in the Premier League.’
That was on the 7 May 2015, Carver having just overseen eight Premier League defeats in a row and only two wins in 17 games after taking control following Alan Pardew’s departure.
Those two victories a narrow 1-0 at home against Villa and a 3-0 away win at a Hull side managed by Steve Bruce.
As he looked to be relegating Newcastle from what had looked a seemingly impossible position, it became only two wins from 19 games, before Jonas Gutierrez came up with that match winning performance against West Ham on the last day of the season, that finally confirmed survival.
Talking now about his footballing philosophy, John Carver no longer believes being the ‘best coach’ is the most important thing, instead he insists: ‘If you’ve got good man-management, that counts more than any tactics.’
John Carver is now into his sixth week working with the Scotland squad, as part of the backroom staff of Steve Clarke, who was Ruud Gullit’s assistant at Newcastle United.
John Carver though has compared Steve Clarke to another former NUFC boss, the one and only Sir Bobby Robson.
Carver speaking after Scotland beat Israel on penalties to go through to a final Euro 2020 play-off against Serbia.
John Carver insisting that Steve Clarke pays even more attention to detail than Sir Bobby.
John Carver talking to The Scotsman:
“Man-management is one of the most important ingredients in a coach or a manager.
“If you’ve got good man-management, that counts more than any tactics.
“If you have a manager that understands players, treats everybody differently because we are all different personalities, but treats everybody with honesty and respect then you get more out of the players.
“The manager here, Steve [Clarke], has the respect of all those players because he’s open, he’s honest and he gives them game plans and training sessions that are straightforward and not complicated.
“He has the same manner and attention to detail [as Sir Bobby Robson].
“This is the first time I’ve really seen him in this environment as the leader, the manager, the head guy. His traits are very similar [to Bobby].
“He is level-headed but his [Steve Clarke’s] attention to detail is even more so than what Bobby Robson had. He doesn’t leave any stone unturned.
“We look at everything and analyse everything.
“We give the players the best opportunity and best tools when they go onto the pitch to produce the goods. That’s very similar to Bobby. The way he deals with the players and the way he speaks to people, he treats them with respect.
“But he has that firm hand as well when he needs to use it, as all managers need. Steve doesn’t show too much emotion as you saw on Thursday night in the shoot-out – not as much as I did. But he enjoyed it and celebrated with the staff inside. He’s very similar to Bobby. If he has the same career it will be fantastic.
“I’ve taken teams to tournaments.
“I took our youth team at Newcastle to play in a tournament in Germany and the team was full of Scottish players. Steven Caldwell, Gary Caldwell, Brian Kerr – and eight of the starting line-up were Scottish. Gary Caldwell came to me before the game and said they wanted to sing Flower of Scotland rather than the English national anthem.
“I worked abroad and understand different cultures working in Cyprus and the MLS in America but I’ve never been to a major international tournament – not even to watch one.”
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