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Newcastle vs. West Ham: Can the Magpies pull off a first win in 11 to make sure they stay up?

22 May | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Newcastle vs. West Ham: Can the Magpies pull off a first win in 11 to make sure they stay up?

Self-proclaimed ‘best coach in the Premier League’ John Carver will be hoping Hull City don't beat Man United on Sunday

“I still feel I’m the best coach in the Premier League.” – John Carver, May 2015.

Poor old John Carver. John Carver with his craggy face permanently creased into a frown.

Poor old John Carver. John Carver who loves Newcastle United as much as Alan Shearer, Jimmy Nail, Kevin Keegan plus Ant and Dec combined, but who may yet be the architect of their downfall.

Poor old John Carver.

How on earth did it come to this?

When Alan Pardew finally had enough of being the public face of owner Mike Ashley’s empire and decamped back to Crystal Palace, Newcastle were safely in mid-table.

That was early January. With no obvious candidate to take over, Ashley decided not to appoint anyone, presumably safe in the knowledge that it would take a collapse of truly monumental proportions for the club to end up anywhere near the bottom three.

Step forward John Carver.

Since taking the reigns from Pardew, Carver’s record as Toon boss reads: LLLWDDLWLLLLLLLLDL.

The fans have watched on as the Magpies have slid down the table, week after week, getting closer and closer to the trap door, while Ashley remains absent, mute and unwilling to act, and the lines in Carver’s craggy face have got ever deeper with every goal conceded by Tim Krul.

They will now go into the final match of the season knowing they could be relegated for a second time in six years under Ashley’s ownership.

So what are the mathematics? Put simply: if Newcastle beat West Ham, they are safe. If they lose or draw, and Hull City beat Manchester United, they are relegated.

Let’s take those one at a time.

First off, can Newcastle win?

In the ‘for’ column, it’s worth noting that West Ham are safe, have just one win in seven, and surely the only clean sheets they are worried about are the ones on the hotel beds in the plush summer holiday resorts they will be visiting this time next week.

But then, this is Newcastle. And the fact is, they haven’t won a single match in almost three months. Three months! That kind of losing sequence becomes ingrained and there is little reason to think that group of players will suddenly find their form.

So what of Hull’s chances of vanquishing Manchester United?

Well their form isn’t much better than Newcastle’s, with just two wins in ten. And here’s a stat that will warm the heart of every Geordie in the land: Tigers boss Steve Bruce has never, ever, not once, ever beaten his former club Manchester United as a manager.

Surely even poor old John Carver can’t be that unlucky. Can he…?