Newcastle United and their Pardew-ite interim head coach have departed for London to take on Alan Pardew's on form Crystal Palace side. On the back of a severely underwhelming performance Sunday at St. James' Park which saw Stoke City out-possess and out-pass Newcastle by significant margins, there is very little room for optimism among the Toon Army faithful. John Carver's own comments over the week have not necessarily provided the salve that Sunday's wounds had opened up and even bring up concerns that the occasion may be to big for the Geordie who, if you were not aware, coached for this club under Sir Bobby Robson.
"I thought some of the treatment he received was harsh,"
All quotes accessed fromThe Telegraph
This is most definitely not the best way to start out talking about the former Newcastle boss who was proudly competing for the worst overall record in the entire Football League for 2014. Although, as we sit here today Carver has seen only one victory in six matches and 5 points from five matches in the league set a mark of which Alan Pardew would be proud. Carver has a vested interest in believing that the fans were a little harsh.
"But I know for a fact, if I was sitting in the stand, paying good money and I wasn’t very happy then I’d be saying something. Every manager is going to take some criticism. Alan was no different, but he was honourable and he stood up to it.
But wait! He's one of us, so it's ok! Carver would have no shortage of words praising his former manager and would continue on to assert the following (we haven't heard this kind of noise since 2011-12):
"Alan can definitely be a future England manager because he has the temperament," Carver said. "The England manager gets criticised by everyone. He only has two competitions he can win – the World Cup and Euros and they’re only every two years. There would be big pressure on, but he could deal with it.
Granted, the two men worked in close contact for 4 years... of course there's going to be some amount of friendship and respect that come from it. Newcastle's form, Palace's form, the extremely poor play at the weekend and all of the words about Pardew combine, however, to suggest a real feeling that Carver may be overawed by the occasion tomorrow which doesn't bode well for Newcastle fans desperate for something positive to grasp from a dead season.