It may not be a coincidence that the last time Newcastle were riding high under the great Bobby Robson, John Carver was also Assistant Manager.
Alan Pardew didn’t waste much time in appointing John Carver last January
When Bobby Robson took over from the hopeless Ruud Gullit in 1999, he was impressed with Carver and made him Assistant Manager, and that was John’s position for the next five years under Robson, until Freddy Shepherd decided to sack Bobby in August of 2004.
Alan Pardew is getting a lot of kudos at the moment for the great start to the season made by Newcastle, but he’ll be the very first to admit that his coaching staff are excellent, and that includes John Carver, who was an excellent appointment by Alan last January.
Newcastle have lots of youngsters coming through the club, and they get games in the Newcastle Reserves side, but Newcastle also use the second string to keep the fringe players of the first team on their toes, and ensure they remain match fit.
This is what John said today to the local press:
“You want competition for places,” “I’ve played in and been involved in reserve games when senior players haven’t been at it, but that’s not been the case with us.”
“We’ve involved senior players in some reserve games and made sure they’re in the right position to take advantage of any opportunities.”
“We’ve done things properly, and that’s given the players the best chance to take those opportunities.”
We’re not too sure just how strong the Newcastle squad is at the moment, and what would happen if we lost some crucial players through injury.
But that’s exactly what happened recently to Cheick Tiote, and young Danny Guthrie came in and did a great job for the side, over the last three games.
Danny Guthrie – in outstanding form over last three games
And Danny has done so well that we expect him to get an extension to his four year contract, which runs out next June.
John Carver thinks Guthrie has given Alan Pardew a selection problem for the upcoming game at Manchester City on Saturday:
“He did a great job, and he’s given the manager a little bit of a headache because of how well he played,”
“That’s all you can ask from a player, and that’s what he’s done.”
“He’s taken that opportunity, and given the manager a decision to make, but it’s the type of decision he’ll enjoy.”
We wouldn’t be too surprised if Danny retains his position in central midfield for Saturday’s game at the Etihad Stadium, and certainly if there are any doubts at all about either Cabaye or Tiote, then Danny will get the start.
That’s a thing Alan has been very good at – picking the team based purely on merit and not on reputation – and it’s different from the way the team was picked by previous managers.
Maybe that’s another reason Newcastle are doing so very well this season?