John Carver was pictured ahead of a golf day at Close House. A number of Newcastle supporters were upset. At the end of the day, it was for charity. Was carver right or was he wrong? Does he drive the drive for the task ahead? 

On the face of it, 1 point out of 30, no wins for 10 games. Supporters have every right to be upset. Arguably the biggest home game for many a year, should Carver have been preparing his troops for battle? 

There a re a lot of arguments to say yes, he should. Carver himself highlighted in his post match interviews ion Saturday how certain players were short of match fitness. Key among those players were Cisse and Aarons, both proven game changers. 

It begs a moment to ponder what their contribution has been. Aarons demonstrated his worth when rushed back from injury in the League cup tie at City. The opening goal then in 6 minutes was enough to lay the foundations for a famous win. That was a repeat of one of his equalising goals against Crystal Palace. 

Similarly, Cisse has also been instrumental in ensuring that Newcastle are not relegated already. 10 starts and 11 goals have provided a lifeline. Notably, in the early part of the season, his two goals to earn a point against, and deny 2 for Hull, ensured that now our destiny is in our hands. 

A further point was earned by his equalising brace against Swansea, another point against Burnley, 0 points was turned into 3 against Chelsea. Palace again, one more point, turning a point against Villa into 3. Yes Cisse has been critical. 

In a world of sport where the England rugby World cup team looked for marginal gains, where the most successful cycling coach in history, Dave Brailsford talks about the sum of margins, you would think that any marginal gain, particularly with exposure to the best coach in the Premier League, could prove significant. 

The flip side of the coin, of course, is that this was a charity event. The press releases feel as though they were aimed at creating guilt among those who criticise. Carver had to be there to help fund heart research, saving the lives of young children. 

There is no doubt that Carver’s presence was crucial to the event. As the Newcastle United manager with the worst win ratio in history, everybody wanted him to be there. 

The fact that Alan Shearer, the record goal scorer for Newcastle United, was in attendance was not enough. Ant and Dec, taking a break from showcasing Britain’s talent took time to lending their golfing talent to the cause. Everybody was there for Carver, the best coach in the Premier League and the best golfer in the world. 

Other attendees, top golfer Lee Westwood, horse racing legend AP McCoy, Olympic gold medal winning triple jumper Jonathan Edwards, would not have provided the same lure as our own JC. 

As things stand, there could be 5 training days left of this season. At least £80m of revenue is at stake for Ashley, not that there is anyone left who cares about him after what he has done to our club. If it was important to gain some sort of margin, particularly for players coming back from injury, Ashley himself would want to make up the shortfall. 

It will not be forgotten that from the latest accounts, Ashley’s club contributed a massive 0.03% of turnover to good causes. A mere few thousand is a Cisse spit in comparison to Ashley’s wealth, let alone what he would lose. 

These are not the only players whose senses need sharpening. If Jonas is again to take up the left back role, practice will make perfect, or at least less imperfect. Coloccini still needs to get the edge to face the ball. In fact, the whole team need to sharpen up compared to their performance in losing to the bottom team who had not won at home for almost 5 months. 

Of course, despite a day off on the golf course, Carver will have hatched his cunning plan. Anticipation for the squad knowing what that cunning plan is will be intensified. Perhaps they will deliver to the letter. With just one day left of the season that margin of one training day, 16.7% of the time left is more important spent at rest, after all there will be so little time in the summer. 

We know that Carver, the best cricketer, the best golfer, the best coach in the world will deliver. The end of season awards can be cancelled but not Carver’s golf. A win against West Ham, Premier League status, Ashley’s tens of millions are all assured. 

How we know how successful carver can be, we can sleep easy knowing our heritage is assured. By the way, John, you did win on the golf course, didn’t you? Surely a Stableford score of 39 points would have been enough?