Worse than Alan Shearer and Iain Dowie’s catastrophic eight games in charge when the club were relegated in 2009.
As bad as the team were back then, they were better than the current side, winning an average of 0.62 points per game under Shearer. This compares against Carver’s 0.5 points in his games. Where Shearer got at least one win in those eight games, the current side managed to lose eight in a row, the worst losing streak since PE teacher Richard Dinnis led the side to 10 consecutive defeats in 1977. However unlike Carver, Dinnis actually had a very good spell with the club, finishing fifth in the old First Division and qualifying for the UEFA Cup as Caretaker Manager in the previous season.
Worse than nearly all the teams who have been relegated from the Premier League
If Carver’s form was spread over a whole season of 38 games, Newcastle would only have 19 points now, about the same as the third worst Premier League finish ever, 19 by Sunderland in 2003. Even if the side finish the season on a win, Carver’s record would still be only be about the same as that of Shearer and Dowie (0.65 points per game). If that form was extended over a season, it would only amount to 24-25 points and once again, an awful total that would mean certain relegation. To put it into perspective, even the two worst teams this season, QPR and Burnley have managed 30 this season with one game still to play.
The case for the defence
Much criticism has been pointed at the defence for the late season fiasco, and indeed it’s true that Newcastle United have the second highest goals against in the Premier League this season with 63. HOWEVER, in defence of the defence, Carver’s record for letting in goals has actually been significantly better than it was with Pardew earlier in the season. The 30 goals conceeded by Carver’s 19 games would translate to only 58 goals in 37 games, not 63 as it actually is. Hence, the defence has actually improved from earlier in the season. Even Tottenham have let in 53 so far this season.
No, as far as the really bad form goes, the problem for Carver has definitely been more at the other end. Without Cisse for most of the time, Newcastle’s attack has been absolutely pitiful, with only 0.72 goals per game to 1.5 against. Newcastle’s poor attacking play under Carver has also had repercussions for the defence. Misfiring attacks have turned all to quickly into counter attacks, leaving the side on the backfoot for much of the game. Without denying that the defence have made blunders under Carver this season, they have been under the kind of pressure which would make most teams’ defences make more mistakes on average. Under those circumstances, the defence still hasn’t been great, but with such a hopeless attack leaving the team almost permanently up against it, it could have been even worse.
We shouldn’t blame Carver though, it’s hard to blame him for taking the job. The blame for our previous relegation, a 16th didn’t lie with him. The blame for that and possible relegation again lies with Ashley himself for a series of ridiculous appointments in the most senior positions at the club, Manager and Managing Director. If you keep appointing people who are compleltely out of their depth to save money, it isn’t their fault.
Having written all that, here’s hoping for a win against West Ham, and that Geordie Special Agent, Steve Bruce comes though for us once again!