How things change. 0 wins from 4 games as caretaker, Carver now has a 100% record as (interim?) Head Coach. The model is working! 

Now installed as interim Head Coach, John Carver has been making his desire for the job on a longer term basis. Having stuck one hand up to apply for the job, he proceeded to put both up as a sign of surrender to the board over transfer policy. 

John Carver and Steve Bruce - Hull City v Newcastle United - Premier League
Without a win in 4 games, following a two week break which included a hellishly demanding few training sessions in Dubai, he swapped the riches of the Middle East for the grandeur of Hull, giving Ashley the chance to see Carver pit his wits against another locally born potential rival for the job. 

Something had to give, as it happens a few things did. Hull went into this match without a goal in 5 games, all defeats since beating Sunderland away. A largely conical defensive formation afforded wingers, Ameobi and Cabella the chance to break against a team that tended towards two banks of 4, squeezing 3 players onto Sammy each time he went forward. 

On the other wing, Cabella revelled in relative freedom, coming inside to score his first for the club. With Shola having signed for the departed Pardew at Palace, Sammy got in on the act too, narrowing the deficit of Newcastle goals with his brother to a mere 76 behind overall and 41 in the Premier League. After a barren 2014, Gouffran added his 2nd of the year so far to complete matters. 

At the other end, Hull showed exactly why they had the worst goals record in the top flight last year, maintaining their record of never having scored in the Premier League in January. Even despite the best efforts of Coloccini to provide a consolation, the ball would not cross the line. Hull managed 8 shots on target to our 5 and did get the ball in the net on one occasion, courtesy of the Tigers’ answer to Maradonna, only to receive a yellow for his efforts. Cheer up, Stevie Bruce, it’s February now. 

Elsewhere, Shola didn’t make it onto the pitch for his new club, former Newcastle boss Pardew reverting to type with a home defeat for the first time since returning to London. Their visitors, Everton, still cling on to the coat tails of the 3 teams battling to secure a top half finish, Newcastle, Swansea and Stoke. 

Ashley has had a bit of fun with Rangers, shifting some of the loans between himself and the company that he owns 55% of. Ashley himself faces another hearing with the SFA, still holding 8.92% of Rangers shares whilst his major brand effectively controls the clubs liquidity. The retail company that he part owns is also able to nominate 2 further directors to the Rangers board. Like Celtic in the cup tie on Sunday, he has them exactly where he wants them. 

Meanwhile, another Ranger features with a club that Ashley has an interest in. After Oldham turned back on their bid to land Ched Evans, currently out on licence for a rape conviction, Nile Ranger has emerged as a slightly less distasteful target. Ranger was acquitted of a rape charge following an incident in a Newcastle hotel and had apparently gone walkabout from his Blackpool job under former Newcastle player, Lee Clark. 

In other news, former Newcastle Chairman has made a bid to bring Dippy the dinosaur to his Exhibition Park museum. It is unclear whether Dippy and Shepherd are related, both having a strong connection with the past. Dippy is actually a plaster caste of a dinosaur, in a way being a rewriting of history, something else which Shepherd might also be accused of by some of his critics. 

Finally, the transfer window closes today. made its own predictions of what may happen here , back in November. Arsenal are reported to have turned down an offer to sign Tiote, Sissoko continues to put himself on the market and Santon is reported to be in Milan, arranging a loan deal with a view to a permanent transfer. 

Tiote could be an interesting one, given his presence in Equatorial New Guinea for ACoN and making the semi-finals. Cisse, also rumoured to be touted out in another January window, has returned in time to make a swap if deemed appropriate. Having come off the bench on Saturday, his own 3 game suspension coincided with his national duty. It could not have been planned better. 

Back on the Rangers front, it seems that some of the Newcastle squad may be going out on loan across the border. Incoming looks a little less active. On one of the most exciting days and nights off the pitch in football, when it comes to supporting Newcastle, don’t wait up!