Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Carver Hamstrung by Defensive Crisis; Problems in Back Line Hindering Head Coach's Long-Term Prospects

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Carver Hamstrung by Defensive Crisis; Problems in Back Line Hindering Head Coach's Long-Term Prospects

Article excerpt

Byline: Neil Cameron Sports Writer @NeilCameron5

JOHN Carver believes he can manage Newcastle United permanently if the club provide him with more good players.

e head coach has condence in his ability if he stays on as head coach after the summer, and his hope is that he's doing enough to show what he can get out of the bare bones.

Just imagine what he could do with a strong group of players, is the point he is sure to make to his employers.

More performances such as the one against Arsenal, in the second half at least, would be encouraging, but the fear Carver has is over his defence. Or to put it another way, the lack of defenders who can deal with crosses.

"We need centre-halves who know how to head the ball," said Carver last week. It's stating the bleeding obvious, but it was a statement that had to be made.

Carver is a fan of Daryl Janmaat. However, he feels the Dutchman's natural attacking game has been restricted because the player has been reluctant to leave space at the back.

A better centre-back pairing is required if Newcastle are to get the best out of Janmaat, who will be in that central role against Sunderland simply because of a lack of numbers.

Carver has told Lee Charnley and Graham Carr this. Surely they must realise that if two top-class central defenders are not bought - is three being greedy? - then next season is going to be a struggle.

Mike Williamson will be moved on. I wonder whether Fabricio Coloccini may be ushered out the door as well, given his form and how much it costs the club in his wages.

e hope is Steven Taylor can come back from this latest injury, but there were doubts over his future before his season was ended by an Achilles tendon snap, which is not easy to recover from.

Carver has been concerned all season about the number of goals Newcastle have conceded from crosses. …

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