Following Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Leicester City away from home at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League, Carver claimed that defender Mike Williamson had got himself sent off on purpose (click here to read more).
“I thought he'd done that (got sent off) on purpose - it looks like he did,” the 50-year-old told BBC Sport. “The ball was off the pitch - he had no need to make the challenge. He will miss two games now, is it an easy way out?”
Carver’s comments came as a surprise to many, as it is not common for a manager to publicly accuse his players like the Englishman did.
However, former Arsenal man Groves has defended Carver and has a theory why the Newcastle head coach behaved the way he did.
“I actually think John Carver has come to a situation after the performance against Leicester and he’s tried everything with this set of players,” The Chronicle quotes Groves as saying.
“He has tried the cuddling, he has tried telling them how great they are, he has tried a little bit of criticism, and I think now he has come to the stage where he has looked at the performance against Leicester and he knew that the players, not all of them but four or five of them, weren’t putting 100 per cent effort in.”
“Sometimes as a manager you have to bite your tongue and not really tell a player what you think of him because you know you might need that player,” added the former Southampton man.
“This situation though, John Carver knows he’s not going to be manager next year and he’s thought, ‘actually I don’t need to massage your egos any more’.”
Groves’s theory is interesting, especially the part where he claims that Carver knows that he will not be in charge of Newcastle and so has nothing to lose by trying all means possible to get the players to perform.
However, accusing Williamson of deliberately getting himself sent off was not the right thing to do. Carver was essentially questioning the 31-year-old’s integrity and professionalism - and in public as well.
While Carver did have a reason to be angry given the way the Newcastle players performed against Leicester, he should have dealt with it inside the dressing room.