How much is John Carver still to blame for Newcastle mess?

The current Newcastle boss is making a hash of things - but suggestions that somehow makes his predecessor look better are wide of the mark.

Following Steve McClaren's embarrassing start to life at Newcastle United - which is merely a continuation of the poor form he showed at Derby County before being dismissed - some have suggested the criticism aimed at John Carver last season is now unjustified.

A keen advocate of such a theory is former Newcastle midfielder Lee Bowyer, who defended Carver on talkSPORT.

But how does that make sense?

We all saw from the shocking displays and continual mistakes Carver made while in charge at St James' Park that he is no manager. The fact McClaren is doing badly - at best - means the current man at the helm is either just as bad or simply going through a period in his career where his performance level is just as bad.

For what is more likely closer to the truth is the fact Carver destroyed this Newcastle squad to such a degree that McClaren has been forced to pick up the pieces.

That's not to defend the former England boss as such. As stated, his record at Derby proves he is nothing short of clueless right now. But Carver's nightmare with the Magpies has made the coach's job that much harder.

Thanks to the 50-year-old, the Newcastle squad was left out of form, badly trained, badly clued up on tactics and desperately low on confidence. And the new players to arrive on Tyneside this summer would have entered that very same squad knowing how badly they struggled - hardly inspiring for them.

Many will still blame Alan Pardew, of course, and they are entitled to do that. Newcastle's poor form started under him. But Carver took a team that looked 100 per cent safe and did his absolute best to relegate them.

Blame, too, must go to owner Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley, Graham Carr and more - but let's not forget the role Carver played in making an underachieving team into one of the worst the Premier League has ever seen.

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