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in­sisted: “It wasn’t a sur­prise, was it?

“It’s the cheaper op­tion for the club. There’s been no im­prove­ment in the team since John Carver took over.

“He may show peo­ple what he’s made of, but the jury’s out as far as I’m con­cerned.

“Is he good enough for New­cas­tle? Based on the last few games, he’s not good enough. It smacks very much of a lack of am­bi­tion and is an in­sult to the fans.

“The soul of the club is rot­ting away slowly and Mike Ash­ley is only in­ter­ested in mak­ing money.”

Steven Taylor has de­fended Carver’s ap­point­ment. The crocked de­fender said: “It’s the per­fect choice and it means ev­ery­one will be set­tled and know what’s hap­pen­ing.” Fans have been boosted by news that the club’s “new Messi” has pledged his long-term fu­ture to New­cas­tle.

Teenage sen­sa­tion Cal­lum Roberts has agreed a four-year deal to keep him at St James’ Park un­til 2019.

The 17-year-old winger made his se­nior de­but in the FA Cup de­feat at Le­ices­ter ear­lier this month. Roberts has been tipped for the top by Ty­ne­side hero Peter Beard­s­ley (right), with Toon’s re­serve team boss liken­ing the young Ge­ordie to some of the game’s mod­ern­day greats.

Beard­s­ley said: “His abil­ity makes him stand out. You look at Messi and Ron­aldo and they’re both great drib­blers.

“Cal­lum is of that ilk.”

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