Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sweet and Sour for Carver as Reality Kicks In

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sweet and Sour for Carver as Reality Kicks In

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas Newcastle United Editor @msidouglas

IT says much about the current state of Newcastle United that John Carver can describe the head coach role he is currently clinging to by his fingertips as both the "dream job" and football's hardest role.

It is now approaching five months since Carver sat in the manager's chair to debrief the press after an impressive defeat of Everton and proclaimed himself blissfully unaware of what was going on with Alan Pardew, a man who he considered a friend.

Pardew knew exactly what he was getting out of. A squad that had overachieved to that point was not going to be strengthened - United were exposing their chin to whatever blows the second half of the season was going to inflict.

Carver, you suspect, must have know that too.

Being brutally honest, being handed a poisoned chalice was the only way either of them was ever going to get a job like Newcastle's. In days gone by, the opportunity has been snaffled by some of the biggest names in football - the dream job part - but now it is distinctly different.

"I think it is the hardest job in football. Definitely. It is. I don't manufacture anything - I don't do that. Straight and honest, that's me," Carver said.

Whatever your thoughts on his performance in the job, it is impossible not to admire Carver's determination and work ethic.

If this doesn't happen for him - and looking at his record it shouldn't - he has left nothing behind. The tone of the protests over the weekend - aimed at the regime and the structure rather than the man - feels right.

With a fair wind and a full squad, things might have been different. As it is, they play against Spurs tomorrow desperately scrabbling around for some form of salvation after five damaging defeats on the spin.

" Ye a h . You're right. It's the dream job, right. This is the dream job, but the hardest thing is taking the criticism off your own people," Carver admits.

"That's the bit I find really, really difficult. And some of it is deserved and some of it is not. Sometimes you're dealt the hand and you've got to get on with it, and this is the hand I've been dealt.

"When I took it on, if I hadn't accepted or if I didn't want it, then I would have been kicking myself. I wasn't going to not accept it, not have a go at it, all right. I've said this to you, I genuinely believe that if I've got the right tools I can do the job.

"And I think I'm getting the best out of the players I'm putting out on the pitch at the moment. But it is bitter sweet. It's bitter sweet and it's definitely a roller coaster."

He says the one accusation that has cut deeper than any other is that he doesn't care.

"Let me tell you something, I am feeling it as well. My family are feeling it, we are all feeling it, but no-one more than me because it is my job as well and I cannot run away from it," he said. …

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