clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How John Carver can save Newcastle United

New, comments

These open letter things were all the rage last year, so I figured why not bring it back again?

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Hi John Carver,

I hope you don't mind if I start this off without mincing words. I'm not mad: I'm just disappointed. Granted, I'm not from Newcastle, and the closest I've even been to Newcastle is Edinburgh (a lovely city, by the way). Newcastle isn't even the only team I follow as I'm a rabid Sporting Kansas City fan, too. So no, you don't owe anything to me, an American living almost 4,200 miles away, but you do owe something to the fans who pack St. James Park week in and week out. And even from way over here, I can see that things aren't working.

I know you only have so much control, and frankly, I think you've been dealt a terrible hand over there. Every time a player shows signs of life, Mike Ashley gets dollar signs in his eyes (or pound signs, I suppose). When you got thrust into the position of interim manager, you were gifted a squad with little-to-no depth and one of the highest injury rates in the Premier League. This is not a hopeless situation. Although a few of your more talented players have scheduled themselves an early vacation, you still have some good lads on the squad.

The record under your management is not good, but you can look at this as an opportunity. There's nowhere to go but up.

Start experimenting. I'm sure you have heard the chants of "Are you Pardew in disguise?" Just in case you don't follow their meaning, those accusations have been levied because you have been using the same tactics Alan Pardew was using.

Put a stop the tired practice of hoofing the ball to an imaginary lone striker who is capable of keeping possession while surrounded by 4 defenders: that just is not going to work.

Focus on short passes. We need to keep possession because it is hard to score without the ball and because your back line is so disjointed that it will never hold up to a sustained attack.

Start with 2 or 3 in your front line instead of just 1. Your strikers aren't bad, but you don't have any with the skills to play alone. Give them a partner or two to play off of so they can string together some passes and build up an attack.

Throw some fresh blood in the mix. You have some rookie players. Yes, they're unproven, but you're currently working with Championship-level players anyway. See what they can do.

John, if you are anywhere near the fan we have heard you are, I am sure it's hard to see your hometown team doing this poorly. Your hands are tied in some regards, but don't let the lads sink into a relegation battle without a fight. Things aren't working: it's time for a change.