It is maybe not a coincidence that the death of the great Bobby Robson has come at a time the Newcastle United club seems to be being taken to the cleaners by a certain owner, Mike Ashley.
John Carver with the great man
One way of looking at Mike’s actions this summer is that he wants to take the club down a few pegs, presumably for spite, because he’s done absolutely nothing to prepare for the new season, while at the same time ensuring nobody else can either.
And the death today of the great Bobby Robson comes as sobering news, and his assistant coach at Newcastle, John Carver, has given an emotional interview to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, and was unable to stop the flow of tears as he talked about his time with Bobby:
“Since that day five years ago, this club has been in decline.” “He lost his job as manager.”
“That was wrong, and the decline of this football started the day that Bobby was sacked.”
“It has gone on over five years and it has been a painful process.” “They haven’t been able to carry that momentum built up by Bobby.” “It’s been a steady decline.”
But John Carver is one of the few privileged men, along with Jose Mourinho as another, to have worked closely alongside the master, and learned the trade of football management from him.
And John, currently residing back in his home town of Newcastle, paid tribute to his mentor when he said:
“I am one of the luckiest men in the world to be have been fortunate enough to have worked with him.”
“Every day I learned something, either on the training field, in the office or just about life.”
“We had some great times. We didn’t win anything, but we came so close, and if we’d been given a little bit more time, we would have. We could have been where we should be.”
“It wasn’t just about the fact we nearly won the Premier League title, it was how we built the club.”
“We had been on a downward spiral, but Bob built a great squad with British players in it and energy, pace and power.”
“We didn’t have the rub of the green at the start of 04/05 season and all of a sudden he was out of job.”
Carver talked about Bobby’s ability to get the very best out of some of our youngsters in those days, including Kieron Dyer, Craig Bellamy and Titus Bramble.
“Bobby had humanity, he knew how to deal with people.”
“He didn’t treat the younger players like babies and he treated the older players with respect.”
“That’s 90% of football – if you can handle people and manage different personalities, you have a chance.”
“Bobby treated a young kid from the Academy the same way he treated Alan Shearer.”
“He had time for everybody and their families, and everybody respected that.”
John has captured the essence of the man with those words and there’s not much we can add.
Other than to say we are as sad as John and the multitudes of Newcastle fans are today at Bobby’s passing.
We send out our sincere condolences to his lovely wife of 54 years, Elsie, and to the remaining family members, his three sons, Andrew, Paul and Mark, who all survive him.