It’s always good to see John Carver so positive in the pre-match press conference. He brightens up a Thursday afternoon. We can now look forward to Saturday.

At least it’s good to know we have somebody competent at the helm, and here was JC full of confidence:
“I still think I’m the best coach in the Premier League.” 

Of course you are John. The league table tells us exactly that. Despite missing your own target of 8th place, it’s now official that we can’t make the club target of 10th. You have clearly got as much out of Riviere as Pardew did and you did tell us he was up there with the best. As Lee Charnley told us, when your predecessor headed for the Smoke:
“the club is in a far better position, both on and off the field” 

Here is our form since he made that statement:

In other news he tells that that two players, de Jong and Dummett have been sent to be scanned – I always wondered why other supporters called us the “Bar Codes”. Cisse has returned to training and it will be noted that in the 16 games in which he has not appeared, Newcastle have accumulated 9 of our 35 points. Indeed, he is the most recent Newcastle player to have scored a winning goal, over 2 months ago.

Somewhat surprisingly, Carver decided to produce Coloccini’s “open letter”. In many ways this was quite revealing. Now we know that Coloccini can write and it is refreshing to see that it was not word processed. We can also see some of the thought that went into it with the crossings out. Carver told us it was written in Spanish, presumably translated by the club. 

On general election day, he has clearly copied a trick from the current Prime Minister, who famously waved a letter left in the Treasury in 2010. This letter said 'there's no money left'. With all those signings in the January window, that’s not a problem at this club, is it JC? 

Perhaps this is why Carver claimed that he had the backing of both Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley, the former having apparently been in tune with supporters and boycotted the last couple of home games. What we do know is that this season is likely to have produced record profits at Newcastle United. Carver will be proud of that. To be backed by the man who sacked Keegan and employed Kinnear twice is a ringing endorsement.

He must also be delighted that behind his back, apparently Steve McClaren has allegedly been approached to take over for the last 3 games. 

On the opposition, Carver tells us: "West Brom are very well organised and a threat at set-plays. But we need to win the game and have to find a way to do that." Perhaps he can match them on set pieces. We are so well organised that we know what is going to happen at each one. Long ball to the far post for Williamson ………….. oops, I forgot! 

Carver also tells us that there will be a “post-mortem” after the end of the season. Given the nature a post-mortem, it makes us wonder if we are witnessing the death of a once great club. 

Given the thoroughness of our local journalists, it is something of a surprise that they have not reported that Carver has followed the excellent example of his captain in issuing his own apology. Perhaps as the best coach in the Premier League he doesn’t owe us one, after all, with 8 in a row he is a record breaker. 

“It has been a tough period but I have a spring in my step and am ready to go for the next three games.” Surely that should be after the next three games, John.

The Carver press conference can be seen here. For Shakespearean fans, you may prefer this link.