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John Carver: A predictable appointment as Newcastle play the long game

Is the gaffer the man to lead The Toon Army forward, or is he just another Alan Pardew?

by David Lyons | February 6, 2015

Despite having proved the most predictable managerial appointment in the history of the Premier League, Newcastle United’s new head-coach John Carver has been given five months to prove his managerial merit with the Magpies’ board leaving the majority of Newcastle United fans dismayed with the predictability of the appointment.

While it is understood that Carver will not dominate the focus for a permanent head coach in the summer, a top eight finish could bring him into unlikely consideration.
The question remains – just how well will the Geordie-born coach do?

Having served as assistant manager to the late, great Sir Bobby Robson during the early 2000s, Carver has been on the books at St. James’ Park for a total of 10 years. In other words, he isn’t a dodgy mate of Mike Ashley, but instead, a man that knows the club inside out, and has worked through good times and bad.

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Carver v Pardew

When Alan Pardew oversaw a run of five straight league victories, it was accepted across mainstream media that Mr. Pardew had turned the tide, and stopped the rot on Tyneside. While results had improved, the 53 year-old had also reached a point of no return with Newcastle fans during their dismal start to the new campaign.

In testament to Pardew’s undoubted ego, he left on his own accord to aid Crystal Palace’s fight against relegation. His departure was welcomed by almost every NUFC fan known to man.

Although Carver — Pardew’s assistant manager — is regarded as a carbon copy of the former manager, early signs suggest that he’s his own man, and has already began to put his own stamp on the starting 11.

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Carver’s honest pre-match and post-match interviews have come as a breath of fresh air to supporters, but most importantly – our performances are beginning to improve.
Instead of setting the team out with the aim of shutting down the opposition, the ex-Toronto FC manager has shown an obvious desire to focus the team’s attacking threat through £12m summer signing Remy Cabella.

Such efforts bore early fruit as the Frenchman grabbed his first goal for the club against Hull City last Saturday. Pardew didn’t even consider Cabella for a starting berth.

Carver looks to have different ideas than his predecessor, and slowly but surely he is beginning to impose his own intentions.

How will he do as head-coach in 2015?

Most Toon fans were left disappointed by the predictable appointment. The club’s shortlist of candidates – Thomas Tuchel, Remi Garde, and Frank de Boer – all insisted on a summer start. There was little point in panicking, and giving the gig to an unwanted face.

I don’t think Carver will do as badly as most supporters think. As someone who loves the club, I hope he does well. He genuinely wants the very best for NUFC and his dedication to the job is unquestioned, with 5am starts the norm since his promotion.

Talk of Newcastle being relegated this year is a load of nonsense, but I do worry that should Carver achieve an impressive league finish he will be given the head-coach role on a permanent basis. This simply can’t happen if The Magpies are to move forward.

Newcastle United need a fresh-faced head-coach & a clear-out of the backroom team. Hopefully this will happen in the summer.

Carver’s appointment is a step sideways rather than forward.

But it’s the best that the supporters can expect for now, as another summer of uncertainty approaches at St. James’ Park.

Words by Kevin Doocey, you can follow him @KevinDoocey, and check out his Newcastle blog.

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