Bad Management

This is the second time I’ve featured Newcastle United in this column and I’ll go out on a limb and say it will not be the last. The club has been alarmingly poor at appointing managers and today’s case of bad management probably doesn’t even count as an appointment. John Carver seemed to only get the Newcastle United job in January 2015 because Mike Ashley, the ever unpopular Newcastle United owner, couldn’t be bothered to appoint someone with actual pedigree who would demand a decent salary. So John Carver was appointed and he has to be one of the worst managers to ever somehow manage to stay up in the Premier League.

So who is John Carver? Well good question as he has a pretty forgettable playing career and had always been a number two at whatever job he had held. Carver has a long association with Newcastle so its not like he didn’t understand the club, the main problem was that when it came down to it he was just not a very good coach. And while its easy to reduce him to that bloke who puts the cones out at training, Carver did have the tactical ability of someone who doesn’t even understand the concept of football.

Carver was appointed with Newcastle in upper mid-table before Alan Pardew jumped ship to Crystal Palace. Pards was very unpopular with the fans after his five-year stint and a combination of his association with Palace and the fact he did not have to work with Mike Ashley meant that the move to Palace was an easy choice. So it was expected a replacement would be found but on 1st January Carver, Pardew’s assistant,  was made interim manager until the end of the season. The assistant getting promoted to the big job usually doesn’t work out and this instance was no different.

The main problem with Carver was that the results were awful. January featured an 80% loss rate and a 3-0 win over soon to be relegated Hull was the only real highlight. February was actually a bit better collecting five points from four games. Matters were not helped however that Alan Pardew was doing well at Crystal Palace and Carver was still underperforming. It was about to get a whole lot worse for big John too.

March and April 2015 were dark times to be a Newcastle fan. Carver guided the Magpies to an awful eight-match losing streak and the atmosphere around the club was toxic. It didn’t help that at this time Carver claimed he was the ‘best coach in the league’ which is a bit like me claiming to be a better footballer than Leo Messi. Simply put it’s not true. Carver managed a 1-1 draw with West Brom to end the streak followed by a 2-1 loss to already relegated QPR meaning that Newcastle were in trouble heading into the final day.

The final day victory over West Ham ensured Newcastle’s safety, although this wasn’t much to do with John Carver. The best coach in the league had been exposed badly and his only job since has been a brief spell in Cyprus. Carver was an awful manager and it’s a miracle Newcastle weren’t relegated that season.