First of all, apologies for the dreadful pun. The alternative was to imagine Newcastle's season as some kind of all you can eat carvery scenario. And that don't fit in no headline, luckily for my ten readers (I know, optimistic..)
Speaking of optimistic, I am fully confident Newcastle will ride the crest of any temporary sort-of Geordie honeymoon period now that Carver's sort-of appointment has been confirmed. The teamtalk however has already come from Steve Bruce, who has claimed the Toon need to be careful they don't slip into relegation danger... like him. All we need is Lee Clark to weigh in with his two cents and the Geordie triangle is complete. They can't get their own teams to win (or in Clark's case, not lose a half 7-0) so maybe it's written in the stars for them and their hometown clubs!
Now that my comedy routine is over, in all likelihood, Ashley's latest gamble will pay off, as long as the appointment of someone of high calibre is genuinely to be attempted. As questionable as Carver's credentials are, anyone with half an ounce of coaching ability can keep this squad in the division, particularly with an eight-point head start. Pardew would have done it and confidence in his reign wasn't exactly brimming. My own prediction is that there will be no comings or goings in the dying strains of the January window.
The problem is, the excuses that have plagued this sorry saga so far can easily come into play in the summer. Unless we have some kind of binding arrangement between ourselves and the preferred candidate, he could quite easily slip through the cracks and be snapped up by one of the numerous other more attractive ownerships to work for. Remi Garde is a likely candidate, Frank de Boer being of a far too proven ilk that would lower themselves to our level. While he would certainly whet any appetite, the danger is that anything other than an attractively-achieved top-half finish will not be enough for a fanbase that grows more and more disenchanted by the day. Even if the safety finishing line is limped over (there is no way it will be pretty, nowhere near the now fanciful top-half target), Ashley is testing already thin patience.
While we're at it, well done to Carver's predecessor, Alan Pardew. He took some well-deserved stick but is now cramming it down throats in a similar vein to when he was boss. Life is always a rollercoaster under him, but I'll wager Palace fans would have taken our ride over their's in recent years. Pardew has his fairytale end. Will Newcastle get one?