Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Can Wounds Heal in Time to Save the Club from Relegation?

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Can Wounds Heal in Time to Save the Club from Relegation?

Article excerpt

Byline: EveningChron John GIBSON

NO DOUBT several four-letter rants at a disfunctional Newcastle United led to the dreaded inevitable sevenletter word.

DIVORCE! There is no other sane way of looking at a heap of rubble where once stood a great club. The only conclusion? John Carver is sick of those who play in his name and equally they cannot be bothered to perform for him. How on earth is that repaired in time to save a club hell-bent on selfdestruction? This afternoon will give us a good idea of whether anything has been salvaged from harsh words and bitter recriminations.

Fabricio Coloccini has written an open letter, the board has talked of a coming together, but can those so obviously divided suddenly pull as one like long lost friends? We hope so but we no longer take anything for granted except failure.

In the aftermath of United's statement this week confirming that all remains as it is, the beleaguered Carver was labelled football's David Brent from The Office. That was cruel in the extreme.

However, what he IS in grave danger of becoming is the second Richard Dinnis, who in the 1970s was promoted from No 2 into the hottest seat in town for which he was totally illequipped and proceeded to lose 10 top-flight matches in succession.

I watched at first hand the desperate losing struggle of Dinnis and now history seems to be repeating itself with Carver.

JC faces the visit of West Bromwich today having lost eight on the spin with no sign of a sudden reversal. He has the look of a haunted man on death row.

Had Steve McClaren said yes Carver would have already felt cold steel, of course. He remains in place through necessity despite a bizarre run of events which suggests big, big pressure.

First he was accused of swearing at a couple of fans who were then invited to United's Benton training headquarters for a cup of tea that produced little in the way of sympathy.

Twenty-four hours later after a shuddering defeat at Leicester, Carver sensationally accused one of his players, Mike Williamson, of deliberately getting himself sent off and conceded that Newcastle's squad may not be listening to him any more, which critics would say has become all too apparent during so many consecutive defeats.

The dressing-room would appear totally lost with United crying out for an authoritative, experienced manager.

A passion for the club and the area, as Carver undoubtedly has, isn't enough if a team is tactically poor, patently not motivated, and indifferent to humiliation.

Those eight losses have included four particularly needless red cards for senior players to go with the spitting fracas that brought top scorer Papiss Cisse a seven-match ban.

One of those sent off was Captain Colo himself, of course, who has played with all the enthusiasm of a rottweiler with toothache, which makes his open letter to supporters trying to solicit their help nothing short of total cheek. …

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