Managerial Review: John Carver (second spell)


John 'best coach in the league' Carver had a disastrous time of it at the end of the 2014/15 season. Picture courtesy of The Guardian.

After a 100% win record from his first spell as caretaker charge (albeit after one match), Carver's last management spell in English football will be remembered for several wrong reasons.

After Pardew's departure, Carver was left in caretaker charge for the first few games of 2015. After defeat at home to Southampton, Carver urged the board to sharpishly appoint a replacement but was given the job the following week until the end of the season. Remi Garde turned down the job offer because he thought Newcastle, as a city, was not cultured enough for him. He went to the city of Birmingham and epically failed as Aston Villa manager the following season.

A decent run of form of one defeat (away at Man City) in the previous five matches at the end of February saw a mid-table finish to the season the most likely outcome. However, the clubs worst losing streak in the Premier League which lasted eight matches meant that problems on and off the field escalated. A relegation battle occurred and the pressure seemed to hit Carver harder than a Toblerone that has been stored in the freezer.

Instead of remaining calm and composed under pressure, Carver tried to dig himself out of the ugly hole by talking his way out of it: Accusing Mike Williamson of getting himself purposely sent off in a 3-0 defeat to relegation battle rivals, Leicester. The hot, warm climate was the reason behind the loss to QPR on the second last game of the season, weather reports said that the temperature reached a peak of 17 degrees that day. How can we forget his personal claim to be the league's best manager with three games remaining? The website "whatculture.com" even makes a list of Carver's 22 BEST (suggests there is more!) quotes from his five months in charge.

And my personal favourite John Carver quote, coming after the final day win against West Ham to secure safety after months of torturous troubles only made worse by the man: "I still want this job". The season was finished but Carver's antics were far from over as he informed Ryan Taylor and Jonas Gutierrez, in the same phone call, that their contracts will not be renewed. Taylor and Jonas were players who always gave their all for the club and the latter returned in mid-season following his cancer treatment.

A humiliating blow fell to Carver in June when was sacked and replaced by Steve McClaren who failed to finish in the Championship play-offs with Derby County despite being top of the table and five points clear of third-placed Ipswich at the end of February.

Dates: 29th December 2014 to 9th June 2015 (163 days)

Records

League: Played: 19, Won: 3, Drawn: 4, Lost: 12, Goals for: 18, Goals against: 35, Goal difference: -17, Pts: 13. Win ratio: 16%

Home (league): Played: 10, Won: 2, Drawn: 3, Lost: 5, Goals for: 13, Goals against: 16, Goal difference: -3, Pts: 9. Win ratio: 20%

Away (league): Played: 9, Won: 1, Drawn: 1, Lost: 7, Goals for: 5, Goals against: 19, Goal difference: -14, Pts: 4. Win ratio: 11%