An honest assessment of interim head-coach John Carver

John Carver down through the years at Newcastle United

Carver – Been at Newcastle United during Sir Bobby’s era and indeed Pardew’s reign

Few Newcastle United fans will forget Sir Bobby Robson’s era. It was filled with great memories, from De Kuip to the San Siro – Stadium of Light to Elland Road. During the height of his reign, we were one of strongest teams in the Premier League and at one stage, looked like a contender for the title. Those were the days; Alan Shearer in his finest form, a back four that didn’t concede goals by the bucket load, but more importantly, a club that every single NUFC fan could be proud of, led by a gentleman who also happened to be an incredibly astute coach. One man who worked alongside Bobby was John Carver and twelve of years on, the 50 year-old finds himself as the club’s head coach for the month of January, I’m sure SBR would be proud of him, to a certain extent. There have been dark days in Carver’s blotted copy book no doubt, but it is only fair we assess his performance over the past year.

Shameful at Southampton

As the travelling Magpies funneled into St Mary’s Stadium with bad memories of their last trip to Southampton they expected a better showing. It couldn’t have been worse. For a second year running Newcastle were trounced 0-4 against a Southampton side that looked like didn’t even reach fourth gear. Depressing was one word for it, but the behaviour … Continue Reading …

Newcastle need to forget about appointing Frank de Boer

Frank De Boer watches his Ajax side warm-up against Barcelona

De Boer – Dutchman has no intention of leaving Ajax to manage Newcastle United

There is little doubt that if given the chance, 99% of Newcastle United fans would appoint Frank de Boer as the club’s new head coach. What an incredible upgrade he would be on the departed Alan Pardew. The Dutchman would arrive to a hero’s welcome at St. James’ Park and there would be a feeling of great optimism around Tyneside upon his appointment. Sadly, the chances of the ex-Barcelona defender taking the reins at Newcastle are non-existent at this moment in time. Despite removing himself as a contender as the next Magpies boss, plenty of media sources and supporters alike truly believe he remains a realistic candidate to succeed Mr. Pardew. As much as we would all love it, his name needs to be crossed off the list and the club need to concentrate on appointing one of Remi Garde or Thomas Tuchel – the two candidates that I truly believe are the front-runners at the time of writing.

John Carver is also eager to be given the gig, but I think the men in charge of appointing the next boss – Lee Charnley and Graham Carr – are aware that Carver does not have the qualities to handle the full-time position appropriately. As a close ally of the departed Pardew, it would probably be best if Carver left the club completely.

Newcastle United needs a fresh start and you can be sure that whoever is appointed the next head coach – they will want their own men in the dugout. Perhaps it is this very reason that Newcastle United are delaying a decision – remember, Carver, Steve … Continue Reading …

Alan Pardew – What Crystal Palace fans can expect from the self-proclaimed king

Alan Pardew watches on from the Newcastle United sideline

Pardew – Leaves Newcastle United for London after four years of high-speed carnage on Tyneside

I’m not going to lie, it brings me great pleasure to be able to write this article at the start of a new year. Alan Pardew has finally packed his bags and left Newcastle United after four years in charge. I think most NUFC fans were beginning the accept the sad fact that Pardew was not going to be sacked, especially when the club enter a truly horrid period of form at the start of the season. I say fact because that is what it was. There was no chance Mike Ashley was sacking Alan Pardew unless the club tinkered on the edge of relegation from the Premier League, and in all honestly, it looks be a fairly comfortable ride from now until the end of the season in avoiding the drop. So when news filtered through that Alan Pardew had not attended his scheduled post-match press conference after defeating Everton 3-2, rumours spread like wildfire about his imminent departure to Selhurst Park, the club where he is most loved.

Whilst many Newcastle fans began to vent their excitement, I was weary. Being perfectly honest, I didn’t think AP was going anywhere, and his behaviour before, after and indeed during the match did not resemble a manager taking to the home dugout for the final time in four years.

The surprise was not just limited to supporters though, assistant manager John Carver didn’t think anything of Pardew asking him to take the press conference after the match, but before we all knew it, Pardew was in talks with Palace. Within 48 hours, a … Continue Reading …

Cheick Tioté and Yoan Gouffran deserve to be dropped

Cheick Tiote and Yoan Gouffran in training with Newcastle United

Gouffran – Continues to merit a starting role in Alan Pardew’s recent line-ups

Another trip to the Emirates Stadium and another pitiful performance. As per usual, the trip to Arsenal saw Newcastle United beaten by a three goal margin. This time Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla teamed up to tear our defence asunder – the former seemingly finding world-class form against us Magpies to chip in with two top quality goals. Cazorla’s first was a thing of beauty, delicately piercing the top corner from an acute angle, leaving NUFC’s third choice keeper Jak Alnwick stranded, a position in which he remained throughout the remainder of the 90 minutes. It wasn’t the awful defending or the poor goalkeeping on show that really caught my eye when watching the game, rather, the incredibly poor standard of passing on show from a certain Cheick Tioté, and the lack of contribution on display from Alan Pardew’s best friend, Yoan Gouffran.

Pardew’s decision to start Gouffran had most Newcastle fans shaking their head before a ball had been kicked in London. The Frenchman, who arrived on the scene in considerable scoring form this time last season has been transformed into a defensive winger, or a full-back when in his element.

November’s Manager of the Month opted to bench Rémy Cabella in favour of a more conservative approach from the first whistle. Although Papiss Cissé and Ayoze Perez both started, the were both assigned different roles, with Perez also given … Continue Reading …

Jack Colback — Newcastle United’s midfield lynchpin

NUFC's Jack Colback celebrates after the final whistle against Chelsea

Colback – Newcastle United’s most consistent midfielder so far

When Jack Colback completed a free transfer to Newcastle United from bitter rivals Sunderland, few would have imagined that the 24 year-old would become the first name on the teamsheet at St. James’ Park. As many of you will know from reading my articles, Jack Colback is someone I always rated, particularly during his time at Sunderland, in other words, I did fancy him to evolve into a very good midfielder on Tyneside, but perhaps not so soon. [Self praise over!] To say he is our most consistent midfielder so far this season is putting it mildly. He has been nothing short of fantastic, and his performance against Chelsea on Saturday last was one of the finest I’ve seen from a Toon player in the centre of the park in quite some time. Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Willian all endured a miserable afternoon on Tyneside, thanks to the heroic workrate, tackling precision, and all-round quality passing on display from our #14.

While he may not have the creativity of the departed Yohan Cabaye, Jack does have vision going forward, proven by his delightful ball to Moussa Sissoko which resulted in the winning goal. When he wasn’t shutting down shop in Chelsea’s attacking third, he was busy spraying the ball to the flanks. Papiss Cissé may have stolen the morning headlines, but Colback was just as vital in securing all three points.

While I can claim credit of being one of few NUFC fans that genuinely embraced the signing of Colback from the folk up the road, I have to confess — I didn’t see him … Continue Reading …