John Carver has managed Newcastle in seven games so far since Alan Pardew left the club and he has 13 league games left to prove himself at Newcastle – and very single one of them will be important.
Is Carver really changing things from the way they were?
It’s interesting that Alan Pardew managed Newcastle for exactly half of the season, and the win at home to Everton was our 19th league game, and after that game we had 26 points and were in 9th place with a goal difference of -6.
John Carver has six points from the six league games he’s managed so that’s off the pace of our first 19 games, and we are currently in 11th place on 32 points from 25 games played.
There has been almost a PR campaign for John Carver seemingly going on this week, and words of support from Managing Director Lee Charnley, who has asked the Newcastle fans to back the head coach.
And even in the local papers there have been claims John is turning the tactics upside down at Newcastle, but we have yet to see much evidence of that in the games.
Some of the players have said that John is changing things on and off the pitch, and it will take a little bit of time for the results of the changes to manifest themselves – so we’ll all have to be patient.
John is said to have set up a tactical war-room at the Benton training grounds, which has canvas prints of goal celebrations and team huddles of the players.
A sign on the wall says ‘It is not about blame, we are all accountable’ – and he has stressed the squad is all important over any one individual player.
And since John was in charge of team spirit when Alan Pardew was in charge, the team spirit has remained high.
The squad also goes over the video of previous games, and the players can see what they did right and what they did wrong and learn from the mistakes made.
U-18 coach Dave Watson, who was caretaker manager of Everton for a while in 1997 after Joe Royle resigned, has been drafted in to sort out the defense.
And there have been signs we are more solid than we were, and conceded only two goals in our last three games, in which we gained 5 points.
Newcastle’s 21 year-old Ayoze Perez has been told he must get himself into more dangerous positions in the penalty box more often, and it looks like every player has been told what he needs to do to improve his game.
And Carver has explained how he expects Manchester City to set up their attacks against Newcastle today, so it seems there has been a lot of work going on.
Certainly the time has been available to do that since we hardly have a cluttered run-in to the league for the second season in a row.
There has also not been too much news about Newcastle for the last 10 days, since we were not involved in the FA Cup last weekend, so some of this news may just be fill from the press, during a scant news cycle.
But not many fans who saw the game at Selhurst Park will think much has changed at all, and we sent in defensive reinforcements as soon as Palace equalized in the second half and hung on for a point and then said a point against a relegation side was really a good point.
It was certainly better than losing to them we suppose – and that would have been a disaster against Alan Pardew’s new club.
And the Newcastle fans have not really taken to John so far, and it’s all well and good reading how things are changing dramatically and all that good stuff, and Lee Charnley trying to tell us that John has done well so far.
But that is hard to justify from his record.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating – it’s called getting results – and we’ll see if Newcastle can play well this afternoon and maybe even get a point.
Certainly we need to see continuing improvement with John Carver in charge – and to tell the truth we haven’t seen much of that at all.
Not yet anyway.
A win would be fantastic this afternoon. 😀
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