Some call him ‘Bubbles’, some call him ‘The Knife’, some simply call for his head at every available opportunity.
The one thing that all with an opinion on Newcastle interim manager John Carver can agree is that the native Tynesider is flailing in the vortex of seven-game losing streak.
A 3-2 loss to Swansea saw the Magpies equal Aston Villa’s 2014/15 record run of top-flight reverses and, with Carver cutting an ever more King Lear-like figure at the centre of the storm, it’s difficult to see where their next point is coming from.
It may offer at least a crumb of comfort that Sunderland’s all-time top-tier record streak of 20 straight defeats (five came following relegation to Division One) cannot be annexed before the summer, when Carver’s departure is inevitable.
The bwin odds moguls have Newcastle’s Saturday trip to on-song Leicester as the 73/100 favourite to end their points famine, while it’s 7/2 that the lengthening losing run is halted when West Brom come to St James’ Park a week later.
Fixtures against QPR and West Ham round off a miserable campaign for those of a black and white persuasion and the London clubs are 7/1 and 12/1 respectively to be the ones that finally take pity.
It’s 33/1 that the Tyneside club move within four losses of their bitter rivals’ unwanted straight-loss record by failing to avoid defeat for the rest of 2014/15.
Leicester may be the jollies, but the Foxes have finally found their way into the chicken coup and seem unlikely to stop until they have a bellyful of survival.
Moreover, Nigel Pearson’s men are in far better nick now than they were when bouncing Newcastle from the FA Cup in their second game under Carver’s guidance.
West Brom look far more likely to afford the Magpies some respite, having won just once in their six away league games under Tony Pulis.
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