Speaking to the Chronicle, Carver admitted that his squad is down to the ‘bare bones’ after being severely depleted by injuries and suspensions.
Fabricio Coloccini is the latest to join a long list of absentees, having been sent off in the defeat to Everton at the weekend. His absence leaves the Magpies with only one senior centre back, and it has been mooted that full-back Daryl Janmaat will occupy a central post for the Toon this weekend.
Carver’s criticism of the squad may appear as though he is criticising himself, but the head coach has every right to complain after being restricted by some questionable transfer business by the club.
In the January transfer window, the Magpies lost Davide Santon to Internazionale, as well as Remi Streete, Shane Ferguson, Gael Bigirimana and Haris Vuckic. The first two on that list are defenders, with Streete a specialised centre-back, and Santon able to play in that position.
If they had remained at the club, Newcastle would not be in the situation they are in now and would be able to field a complete starting XI with players in their natural positions.
This also applies to the attacking positions, with Papiss Cisse out, as well as Siem de Jong and Rolando Aarons. Between them, that trio can play in all the attacking roles, and Bigirimana, Ferguson and Vuckic would have been able to fill in if not allowed to leave the club with the blessing of owner Mike Ashley and his interest in Rangers.
Ashley is often criticised for his running of Newcastle, and his latest decisions have left the club facing fears of an end-of-season slump. No Premier League team has had to deal with the same kind of squad problems as the Magpies, and it has really started to show.