Sunday 25 September 2016

Carver has been to Hull and back but should survive to tell the tale

Published 23/05/2015 | 02:30

File photo dated 21-02-2015 of Newcastle United manager John Carver before the Barclays Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 20, 2015. Newcastle head coach John Carver has defended his decisions to play in a charity golf tournament and to give his players two days off as the club faces a Barclays Premier League relegation showdown. See PA story SOCCER Newcastle Carver. Photo credit should read Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
File photo dated 21-02-2015 of Newcastle United manager John Carver before the Barclays Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday May 20, 2015. Newcastle head coach John Carver has defended his decisions to play in a charity golf tournament and to give his players two days off as the club faces a Barclays Premier League relegation showdown. See PA story SOCCER Newcastle Carver. Photo credit should read Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

Remember Bradford City? One game to go. Favoured to go down. Home to Liverpool. The year was 2000 and the Reds were gunning for a top three spot which would have handed them Champions League football.

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They needed a win. They lost. So did Wimbledon at Southampton so Bradford stayed up and Wimbledon went down and haven't been back. Or how about Wigan in 2006-07?

They had to win at Sheffield United to stay up. And they did so; four years later they started the last day of the season in 19th place but won at Stoke to secure survival.

My point is that nothing can be taken for granted. It might seem as though Newcastle are sure things to stay up. But football is a strange game.

I like Steve Bruce and consider him an excellent manager, the chief reason why Hull are not already down.

But he has to pull out all the stops today. Facing Manchester United is a massive task. They need to win and need Newcastle to lose.

Losing is something one of my former clubs have been doing quite a bit of recently. They have been on a terrible run, essentially since Alan Pardew left and John Carver took over.

So Carver is to blame then? Not in my book. The players are the ones I would point the finger at. They have been too selfish and not passionate enough.

You can't accuse Carver of lacking passion. Certainly he has lacked experience. You have to find a way to motivate, to cajole and inspire players, and he has struggled to do so.

He isn't the man for the job but deserves to keep Newcastle up.

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