View Full Version : John Carver and TFC - The view from Newcastle...

05-26-2008, 06:27 PM
The following article offers an interesting perspective from abroad of Toronto FC thus far in it's infancy stages as franchise...


Geordie Carver's field of dreams

May 26 2008 (http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/nufc/newcastle-united-news/2008/05/26/) by Lee Ryder (http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/authors/lee-ryder/), Evening Chronicle

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FOR GEORDIE coach John Carver the lure of the razzmatazz of Major League Soccer was a temptation he was happy to give into.

Carver’s club Toronto FC are not simply in the business to sell shirts or hot dogs and popcorn, they’re here to win. And under the guidance of the $178 billion Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment group, who also own ice hockey giants Toronto Maple Leafs and NBA big hitters Toronto Raptors, they’ll be backed to go all of the way Stateside to make North American history.

Soccer on the other side of the pond is more is often frowned upon by those in the highways and byways of European football and deemed as no more than a retirement home for the rich and famous. But to spend just a few minutes at Carver’s new home, BMO Field, is to realise that the beautiful game is big business in Canada. Carver’s Toronto side, or TFC as they are known on the streets of The Big Smoke, are Canada’s only representatives in the MLS. But alongside David Beckham’s LA Galaxy, New York Red Bulls and Chicago Fire, a growing League is starting to win more respect from a global point of view. Carver, of course, has had a good grounding in coaching. After working at the Newcastle United Academy under Kevin Keegan the first time around, he quickly moved up through the gears and assisted Dutchman Ruud Gullit to lead the Toon to an FA Cup final in 1999.

The success didn’t stop there either. Gullit, of course, pressed the self-destruct button when he dropped Alan Shearer, Rob Lee and Duncan Ferguson and the rest is history, or at least the former AC Milan legend was anyway. In came Sir Bobby Robson who kept on Carver as his No 2, and the Champions League followed for two seasons. And, as everyone on Tyneside is painfully aware, those days haven’t returned since, under Graeme Souness, Glenn Roeder or Sam Allardyce.

Yet while Carver’s heart will forever be on Tyneside, he’s already proved to be a big hit with Canadians who kiss the ground he walks on at BMO Field. It’s Press day, and with 20 or so journalists assembled in Carver’s office, he quips that the local hacks in Toronto are “pussycats” compared to hitmen who follow Newcastle!

After an in-depth tour of the fantastic facilities on offer at BMO Field, Carver admits life is good in North America. He told me:
“Since I’ve been here in January we’ve probably had a dozen days off, and it’s been constant foot to the pedal.
“But it’s been very enjoyable.
“I think we had the longest pre-season ever! “We spent eight weeks on the road, with three weeks in Florida which was nice; we then had two weeks in San Antonio and then two weeks in North Carolina.
“For me it’s been madness, but it was great to get into the first game.
“I’d heard all this talk about fanatical fans and the atmosphere but then I experienced it, and you have to see what it’s like over here.
“This is big business, it isn’t Mickey Mouse, and the fans are just as desperate to see us win here as they are back home in England.”

Last season Toronto played their first season in MLS and inevitably finished near the bottom of the pecking order, failing to make the play-offs. Former Old Firm hero Mo Johnston was head coach last term, but knew it was going to be difficult. But as part of the long-term plan at TFC, Mo moved upstairs to hand Carver his big chance in the dug-out. And it’s a chance he grabbed with both hands.

Just nine games into their 30-game campaign they are five points from the top of the pile and confident of reaching the play-offs which culminate in the winners being crowned as overall champions.
Carver added: “We’ve been on a great run and are unbeaten in seven games.

“The fans are great here – they are like Newcastle fans, but probably a bit more relaxed because it’s only their second season in the MLS.
“But they still want you to win.
“There is a huge European presence here in Toronto. They are football fanatics and it’s a great city to visit.”
Carver wants to make history by guiding his side to the play-offs. Already they’ve ruffled a few feathers too, and not least those of Gullit, his former managerial mentor, and Beckham.

For as fans crammed into the Home Depot Center expecting a big LA win, they were sent home packing as TFC pulled off a 3-2 victory.
Carver said: “One of the attractions was that this club is only in its second season and it was a chance to put them on the map.
“And I see it as an opportunity to stamp my authority, build up my staff and work alongside Mo Johnston.”
:: LAURENT ROBERT was sent off as Toronto lost 3-2 away to DC United in Washington on Saturday, with former Sunderland striker Danny Dichio grabbing both Toronto goals.

WHEN JOHN Carver was appointed manager of Toronto FC, little did he realise that back on Tyneside there was a kindred spirit.
While Carver’s job is to bang the drum for football in an ice hockey- obsessed town like Toronto, in Newcastle the rugged frame of ice hockey legend Rob Wilson must do exactly the same for Newcastle Vipers in a town obsessed with football.
So what happens when a Toronto native who manages a team on Tyneside meets a Geordie running the show in Toronto?
The instant response of Carver is a quip: “Do you want to swap jobs, mate?”
And Wilson is amazed: “I couldn’t believe it when I found out – it’s almost spooky.”
Yet the similarities don’t end there.
Like Newcastle United, Toronto’s NHL ice hockey giants, the Maple Leafs, haven’t won anything for almost five decades despite such fanatical support.
Carver continued: “Seriously, I know very little about hockey.
“But it’s an amazing story.
“When I first heard of the Newcastle coach from Toronto managing the ice hockey team, I thought – does he want to do a job swap!
“But Rob is a typical Torontonian and a nice guy.
“I hope he does a great job at Newcastle next season and I’ll be keeping an eye on his results.
“One thing I do know is he’ll get backed by the people because they love their sport there.
“Just like I am being backed in Toronto.”
Wilson has invited Carver to take in a Vipers game in next season’s Elite League and he already knows TFC’s strength and conditioning coach Paul Winsper well after the Geordie fitness guru worked with members of his squad.
Wilson says: “I knew Paul already as he worked with us a couple of years.
“Toronto is my home town team in football and I had already been to a couple of games last year.
“Needless to say, I’ll be heading back at some stage while their season is going on and ours is enjoying a break!”

05-26-2008, 06:37 PM
Good article. What a weird coincidence about the coaches.

05-26-2008, 07:27 PM
Does anyone have any post-game interviews with carver after the DC game???

Links please?

05-26-2008, 07:57 PM
Does anyone have any post-game interviews with carver after the DC game???

Links please?

Check footy fan's thread a couple below.

05-26-2008, 08:14 PM
Ejoyed the article, Cheers ManU4ever

05-26-2008, 08:18 PM
178 billion?

05-26-2008, 08:25 PM
178 billion?

WOW, that does seem large, a few DP's in there I would think:canada:

05-26-2008, 08:41 PM
Ejoyed the article, Cheers ManU4ever

Cheers :cheers:

05-26-2008, 08:48 PM
178 billion?

Missing a decimal point. S/b $1.78 billion.

05-26-2008, 08:48 PM
178 billion?

about 177 billion off

Billy the kid
05-27-2008, 08:29 AM
Nice find.

05-28-2008, 09:50 AM
New article:

IT’S A MATCH made in heaven that John Carver hopes one day will turn into a reality.
And while “Newcastle United v Toronto FC” may look a little unorthodox on the fixture list, nothing would give Carver greater joy.


and one on Winsper:

PAUL WINSPER doesn’t leave anything to chance. The former Newcastle United strength and conditioning coach’s global reputation increases by the day, but the Geordie’s enthusiasm and approach to football is perhaps more appreciated in North America than anywhere else.
And after working with David Beckham during his injury problems last year, and being hired by the US Soccer Federation to oversee their strength and conditioning work, Winsper – a close pal of John Carver – is loving his new role with Toronto.
He said: “We’re both in a passionate city with a passionate club – the fans here are superb.


05-28-2008, 01:46 PM
The series continues with an interview with Robert, has some nice quotes.

05-28-2008, 04:33 PM
This writer was up in Toronto for the Columbus home match.

Good guy and seems to have taken on quite a liking to us.

05-28-2008, 06:28 PM
And Carver compares the Toronto fans with those of Newcastle.

He added: “They are very similar.

“They are vocal and they get behind their team, just like Newcastle fans do.

“In fact, they are probably the equivalent to the Toon Army in MLS.”


05-28-2008, 07:20 PM
And Carver compares the Toronto fans with those of Newcastle.

He added: “They are very similar.

“They are vocal and they get behind their team, just like Newcastle fans do.

“In fact, they are probably the equivalent to the Toon Army in MLS.”


I also thought that was one hell of an endorsement of the TFC faithful from J.C. and I'm sure he meant every every word of it...

05-28-2008, 08:14 PM
I also thought that was one hell of an endorsement of the TFC faithful from J.C. and I'm sure he meant every every word of it...

J.C. is definately one to speak his mind... I'd agree, he means what he says.