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Graham Carr – “We need half a dozen players in Summer”.

Posted on March 13th, 2011 | 50 Comments |

Carr: “We are looking at a lot of players”
Carr: “We are looking at a lot of players”
In Newcastle United’s latest PR drive to sell as many season tickets as possible before the end of April deadline, chief scout, Graham Carr, has been wheeled out for an interview with Tyneside weekly, the Sunday Sun, to reassure fans that he will leave no stone unturned in his quest for new players.

In the interview, he says that he will be looking for around half a dozen players, with the emphasis being on a new striker for the club in the wake of Andy Carroll’s departure to Liverpool.

Carr began by looking back at his career as a scout, including an almost two year stint at Tottenham and the huge amounts of travel involved:

“When I was at Tottenham I worked under David Pleat and he was full of good football knowledge and little sayings. I remember him saying to me ‘Never waste a flight,’ and that has stuck with me.

“So I go to a country and I’ll watch two or three games if I can. Last weekend I was in Lille, this weekend I’m going over to Germany to watch two games. You have to put that leg work in and get out to games – being passed a DVD of someone just isn’t the same, and 90% of the players that agents pitch to you just aren’t up to it.

“So my passport is pretty well thumbed, but I love my job. My dad played for Newcastle United and I’ve always wanted to be here – now I am I’m desperate to help bring some success back to the club because it deserves it.”

With his background established, he then moved on to the PR side of things, where he outlined how he and the club will leave no stone unturned in his quest for “a lot of players”.

“We are looking at a lot of players. We have teams of players that we’re looking at lined up in 4-4-2 formations because we want to have someone in every position,”  he explained.

“I think we need half a dozen players in summer, to be honest. That is a personal opinion, mind, but that is what I’m working towards – having options to put before the manager when the season is over.

“And we won’t just watch a player once. With someone like Cheick, it was the result of four years watching him. I’d first seen him playing for Roda against Arsenal in 2006 – they were hammered 4-0 I think, but you could tell he was going to be a good player. He never stopped running.

“So you keep an eye on him and track his progress, which is where we are with plenty of other players.

In a previous interview with the Chronicle’s John Gibson, he said that he had first seen Tiote when he was was playing for FC Twente, not Roda which was Tiote’s previous club, though the opponents (Arsenal), and the scoreline (4-0) were the same. Anyway, Carr then moved on to Arseme Wenger and his Arsenal side, and competition from other teams in the scouting arena in general. He also remarked on how Newcastle United are still a large, well known club who can still attract quality players from overseas, continuing:

“People will all look at Arsene Wenger and say he’s got the French market covered, but we’ve got a good handle on it, believe me. The same is true of other countries too.

“You know you’re not on your own – you know there is competition out there from other English clubs and you have to be realistic – you can’t keep everything you’re doing off the radar.

“A player that I was watching last weekend we’ve been watching for months, yet suddenly there were six scouts there from English clubs, all probably watching the same player.

“The key is to react quickly – that is what will get us our targets. That and the fact that Newcastle United is a big, big draw overseas.”

Carr then moved on to the qualities he will be looking for in his targets, before reminding us once again that Newcastle United really are a huge club, and how overseas players will have noticed how well Newcastle United have treated current player, Hatem Ben Arfa, while he recovers from a double leg break sustained in a horrific “scissor” tackle by Manchester City hatchet man, Nigel de Jong:

“The players that come in will have good pedigree. We will expect them to improve the squad.

“But there are a few other considerations – we want players with a bit of pace who can get about the park. And they have to be the right age and they have to come within the wage structure as well.

“That is quite a few things to look at admittedly, but I really think we have a good chance of getting the players that are on our list.

“Supporters would certainly be surprised at the pulling power of Newcastle United in France and Holland in particular. I would say that outside of the traditional big four we’re probably the biggest draw in those countries.

“That was something that I was always struck by, even when I was working for Spurs and at other clubs. Don’t under-estimate the name value of Newcastle United.

“Playing in front of 52,000 in the Premier League is a real incentive to many. I mean I have been to certain French clubs this season – clubs at the top of the league over there – and they are probably going to be playing in the Champions League next year, yet I could name three or four players who would join Newcastle tomorrow.

“They’ll all know about the way we’ve treated Hatem Ben Arfa. L’Equipe has been covering his recovery in detail and we’ve come across very positively.”

Carr was then questioned on how Newcastle United’s “infamous wage structure” would affect the ability of the club to attract talented new recruits, to which Carr replied:

“Not really. The wages we can offer are better than they would be in many other European leagues.

“In places like Belgium, Holland and France the money isn’t probably quite as good.

“Germany is tougher because they do pay well – and the crowds are big over there as well.

“Of course, agents get involved and that complicates the situation, but if you hand-pick the players and do your research, you generally know the players in our bracket.

“We can’t compete with the resources of a Manchester City, but those clubs aren’t going to necessarily be looking at the same players that we are.

“In the next bracket of clubs, we’re at the top I believe.”

Moving on to how a new striker for the club is top of his list of priorities, and how current Newcastle United manager, Alan Pardew, will be the final arbiter of who the club actually signs in the summer, he continued:

“It is down to the manager and I will just put forward the options to him.

“But I think we’re looking at someone with pace, who can play off the shoulder. Maybe someone who is more of an out-and-out striker.

“We have plenty of options. I like to think we could have brought in somebody in January to replace Andy Carroll with a little bit more time, but it all happened quickly and in the end we couldn’t do it.

“I don’t like January anyway, to be honest. It is the desperation window in my opinion.”

Emphasising his Geordie roots (Carr was born in Corbridge and his father once played for the club), and stressing how he thinks it takes a Geordie to recognise the special qualities required to be a Newcastle United player, he said:

“Being a Geordie and having supported Newcastle gives me a bit of an advantage I think,”

“You look at some players who are talented, but you just have to say ‘They’re not a Newcastle United player’.

“I know the crowd can be quick to get on your back at times. You have to have mental strength, you have to play a certain way. I always knew a guy like Tiote would be a big favourite.”

When it was put to him that a £35 million transfer kitty must add to the excitement and pressure of his role as Newcastle United’s chief scout, Carr responded:

“Yes they are exciting times ahead for the football club.”

“There is added pressure because people know we have money to spend, but we have done our homework and tried to hand-pick players who will suit this club.

“You can’t promise a 100% success rate, but we know what we’re trying to do and the blueprint that we’ve got can bring success to Newcastle.”

Carr then began to wax lyrical about “committed and passionate” Newcastle United owner, Mike Ashley. He also subtly refuted claims by previous manager, Kevin Keegan, that Mike Ashley knows nothing about football, and also that Managing Director, Derek Llambias knows even less, stating that they were indeed “knowledgable”, and that it was “amazing” just how interested they are in his job, saying:

“The owner and the senior staff are very much interested.”

“I work very closely with Derek Llambias, Lee Charnley as well as the manager and Mike Ashley.

“I have regular meetings with the owner – I have met him on loads of occasions. It is good for me that there is interest in bringing players in.

“I know what the perception is outside of the club but he strikes me as a passionate man who is very committed to Newcastle United.

“They are knowledgeable. It’s amazing how interested they are really.”

Let’s just see what happens in the summer, and how much of the 30-35 million proceeds which haven’t been spent on renewing existing contracts is spent…

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1055 articles on this blog.

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50 Responses

  1. Interesting words and most certainly scripted with an eye on the season ticket offer. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens though. Interesting times ahead and I do believe there’ll be a fair bit of activity – incoming and out.

  2. Excellent Workey, well written and interesting article, gives pause for thought.
    Wonder if the big bucks from the Carroll sale, could turn out to be a two edged sword, in the fact agents know of it`s availability and will obviously upping their demands.
    Appears Toro is outta here and possibly Joey, so there should be additional funds besides the Carroll money.
    Would hate to see either player go, especially Joey who is a major presence in the side and more important than Toro.
    Some may disagree, but Toro can be replaced and he`s not the player some consider him.
    One example was the run around he was given by the young on loan Chelsea striker Sturridge a few games back.
    Six new faces ? hey Carr seemed convinced it will happen.
    On saying that, it will all be irrelevant if we are relegated, soh!
    It`s going to be one of the most interesting summers and run ins to the seasons end, in quite a while.
    Well since two seasons ago anyway.
    However one looks at it, it`s always a roller-coaster ride supporting Newcastle.

  3. chuckles says:
    March 13, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    @Excellent Workey, well written and interesting article, gives pause for thought.
    Wonder if the big bucks from the Carroll sale, could turn out to be a two edged sword, in the fact agents know of it`s availability and will obviously upping their demands.”

    Thanks Chuck.

    That’s an interesting point, though it’s kinda obvious now that you’ve mentioned it!

    As I hinted at in the story, Ashley and Llambias have kind of backtracked on saying that all the 35 million will be spent on new players though, saying instead that much of it is being spent on all those very long, improved contracts which are being handed out to existing players.

    Mike Ashley also puts fluorescent “50/75% OFF!” tags on his junk BEFORE it leaves his sweatshops in Laos. :-)

  4. there is rumour that we hav agreed a 6mill fee for ireland if he impresses and also that forster could go to celtic as part of a deal for gary hooper, both id happy with along with lens n gervinho n 3 or 4 tiote type deals wud b good

  5. “In Newcastle United’s latest PR drive to sell as many season tickets as possible before the end of April deadline, chief scout, Graham Carr, has been wheeled out for an interview with Tyneside weekly, the Sunday Sun, to reassure fans that he will leave no stone unturned in his quest for new players.”

    Wouldn’t surprise me with Ashley and that new PR department of his!

  6. That’s the best interview I’ve heard from anyone at the club for a long time.

    Selling Carroll was a gamble but bringing in 5 or 6 players with the money if scouted correctly could improve us far more than he could on his own.

    A gamble worth taking IMO.

  7. paul toon says:
    March 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Watch out Paul!

    Big Bad Dave will be ’round in a minute to ask you if you’ve donated any money to this site (again). :-)

  8. Worky you never seem to let anything drop and you are quick to try to stir sh1t, for your info I asked Paul had he donated because he jumped into something that he knew nowt about telling me that I should piss of and find another blog to use.
    and as you allready know I told him that as I donated to the blog and have been a member from it started I have as much right to be on here as anyone else.
    It was a simple question ( Had he Donated )that he didn’t answer and still hasnt.
    As for answering question I noticed you hadn’t answered the question I asked >
    51 Big Dave says:
    March 6, 2011 at 9:17 pm
    Worky > I asked Hugh if he thought that it was in some way “wrong” that I should do this, and he seemed to think that it would be ok.
    If what was “wrong” Worky ????

  9. Worky the question was regarding this comment of yours >

    48 workyticket says:
    March 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm
    Big Dave says:
    March 6, 2011 at 8:01 pm (Edit)

    “Stuart @ 23 I also asked what happened the donations a few nights ago, but Worky has still not got round to answering me”

    Dave,

    As for what I have done with the donations, I borrowed over £150 of the money to fix some serious hardware problems with my PC and around £15 per month to keep up my broadband. I have suffered a complete financial meltdown recently through ill health which left me unable to work for long periods. Without the money which was donated, I would have had no PC, no Internet connection and hence, no site.

    I asked Hugh if he thought that it was in some way “wrong” that I should do this, and he seemed to think that it would be ok.

    Another £90 or so went on paying for the hosting of the site for several months and renewing the domain registrations. I am still paying for the old hosting, which runs out in April. This is on top of around £150 I have paid in hosting charges and domain registration fees for the site before my finances collapsed, though I am not counting that.

    Happy now, Dave?

    I would be happier if I could get someone to pay to fix my Laptop and pay my monthly broadband ;)

  10. Big Dave says:
    March 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    “I have as much right to be on here as anyone else.”

    To be constantly boorish and insulting to myself? That’s debateable, Dave. Have you been telling people that you’ve been banned from here, anyway?

    Anyway, this is not the place to keep pursuing some kind of personal vendetta. Grow up.

    To answer your question (which I already explained in the comment BTW), I asked Hugh if he thought it would be “wrong” to take a loan (which would be paid back) out of the money donated to pay for major repairs to my PC which I couldn’t afford myself. If I hadn’t, I would have had no computer to do the ‘blog with.

  11. Great interview and a good insight into the workings of the club – whatever the motive

  12. Big Dave says:
    March 13, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    “I would be happier if I could get someone to pay to fix my Laptop and pay my monthly broadband”

    Dave, as I have explained several time now, It was a loan until my health and my finances get better. Keeping this site going has been a major struggle at times with some of the other things which have been going on in my life.

    If I didn’t get my computer fixed, no doubt you would have been complaining that the site was no longer running.

    That’s enough now. This is NOT the place for your personal vendetta with one of this ‘blog’s webmasters, so just leave it and stop ruining things for people who want to discuss football, and Newcastle United.

  13. Worky where did I insult you ??
    And no I never said to anyone that I was banned

    As for a personal vendetta I have no personal vendetta with anyone, but it would seem that you have one with me.

    And no you didn’t explain what you were trying to push the blame onto Hugh for in your original comment.

    Although I did think that you stooped real low to drag Hugh into it in the 1st place just to try to justify you wrongly using the Money donated for upgrading the Blog.

  14. Wimbledon Mag says:
    March 13, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    “Great interview and a good insight into the workings of the club – whatever the motive”

    I agree, Wimbledon.

  15. Big Dave says:
    March 13, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    “I would be happier if I could get someone to pay to fix my Laptop and pay my monthly broadband”

    Dave, as I have explained several time now, It was a loan until my finances get better. Keeping this site going has been a major struggle at times with some of the other things which have been going on in my life recently. When things are better, I will put all of the money I have used to keep my computer and broadband running back into the site.

    If I didn’t get my computer fixed, no doubt you would have been complaining that the site was no longer running anyway as this just seems to be pure spite and some kind of misguided attempt to “bully” me in some way, because you seem to enjoy that sort of thing.

    That’s enough now. This is NOT the place for your personal vendetta with one of this ‘blog’s webmasters, so just leave it and stop ruining things for people who want to discuss football, and Newcastle United.

  16. worky at the end of the day you started the argument when you mentioned the ( is it cos he black) comment if you had of sed sorry at the time iam sure dave would of accepted ,then every thing died doon agen and you had too have another dig as you always do ,iam sorry your not very well but its a cross we all have too bare at times ,but somtimes your like a woman with PMT snapping and biting at people ,i sed too you a while ago dont shoot your self in the foot ,ok m8 so have a think ,

  17. Oh Bad me trying to Bully Poor Worky :lol:
    As for ruining things I dont think you need my help with that ;) Considering that most of the regulars have all deserted here, and I am rarely on here now so you cant blame that on me.
    BTW I think you will find that your comment @ 7 started all this sh1te again

  18. batty says:
    March 13, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    “worky at the end of the day you started the argument when you mentioned the ( is it cos he black) comment ”

    Big Dave says:
    March 13, 2011 at 10:16 pm (Edit)

    “Batty THANKS”

    Thanks, batty. Just shows that this has nothing to do with donations, it’s just Dave’s spite over something which happened months ago.

  19. Batty you are right in what you say this all started up again with Worky accusing me of being a RACIST and he didn’t have the guts to say sorry or even admit that he crossed the line by saying it on a public blog.
    He just tried to brush it off by saying he was only asking a question lol

  20. worky you not daft ,you knew what you were doing when you left the remark too p earlyer , as for the donations if you had sent me a email asking too lend ya i would of no problem money is the easyest thing too get hold of ,and at the time i guessed you were in a hole anyway

  21. Worky > it’s just Dave’s spite over something which happened months ago.

    yeah something that happened months ago and you still havn’t apologised or admitted you were in the wrong
    That tells me what type of person you are ;)

  22. the trouble when cyber friends fall out is they can’t go – outside – to settle their differences or go for a – pint – to talk about it.

    so what can we do about it ?

    worky if you want big dave off your back then i would advice you offer him an appology & put this sorry episode to bed once & for all.

    the thing is tho worky – i’m not 100% sure that’s what you actually want when i see you & your made up character – paul toon – upcasting dave’s views on the donations!

    for what it’s worth – if your skint then i dont have any prob’s with you loaning the money for whatever you need it for.

    worky this site is dying on it’s arse – sort it oot man.

  23. Hugh I was just about to close this down then seen your comment.
    As for the donations I asked worky what they went on as we were lead to believe that they were going on blog upgrades new server etc, but then I heard that the donations wern’t just used for that.
    So when Worky answered with >
    As for what I have done with the donations, I borrowed over £150 of the money to fix some serious hardware problems with my PC and around £15 per month to keep up my broadband. I have suffered a complete financial meltdown recently through ill health which left me unable to work for long periods. Without the money which was donated, I would have had no PC, no Internet connection and hence, no site.

    I asked Hugh if he thought that it was in some way “wrong” that I should do this, and he seemed to think that it would be ok.

    I just dont see why he couldn’t say that he needed to use some of the money because he was going through a bad patch, I dont like the fact that he used your name to try to justify using the money as I dont think your name should have been dragged into this sorry mess.

  24. I will admit that I still recent the fact that worky accussed me on here of not liking CH because I was racist.
    That was over 2 months ago and he has still said nowt about it.
    Roy as I said I didn’t have a problem with worky using some of the money for whatever reason But I am against him trying to blame me for bullying him and trying to ruin the blog.

  25. Can we just can this shit?
    As no one is really interested, other than the protagonist`s themselves.
    And it does`nt appear Workey has much heart for it, so Dave, please, let it go.
    That goes for those on the sidelines, let it die a natural death.

  26. Dave, we moved the blog to a server I have and we did plenty upgrades that you don’t see as well as those you do see.

    With the donations I actually suggested that Worky use some to sort his PC out or we’d have no blog at all without an admin.

    If you have donated and want your money back, use the ‘Contact’ form on here and I’ll make sure it gets back to you.

    My point, BD, is that it’s time to go past the he said, you said stuff etc.

    Blogs are mainly run as hobby jobs but it still takes money and effort. These things don’t just happen. On this server for example there are operating system, firewalls, email servers, web servers and all sorts of stuff. Someone pays for all that.

    If donations really are a problem I’ll make sure every single person gets them back from my personal bank account.

    I can’t say fairer than that. And that’s no idle statement I will stay true to my word and pay it.

  27. Hugh the money was just a side issue and to be honest money dosn’t mean much to me, As I said if Worky didn’t try to get another cheap sly dig at me @7 I wouldn’t be on here.
    But my last words are its easy for people to say let it drop etc, But would you’s think the same if Worky accused you’s of being Racist on a open Blog and didn’t have the decency of apologising or admitting that he overstepped the mark ??
    Nite Lads

  28. does anybody really believe el toro and el barton are leaving the club in the summer have a bit of faith!

  29. Good article, worky.

    One of the best regarding the interview imo.
    Good to see that Carr is reasonable enough to say that we neef six new faces instead of 3 or 4 mentioned by AP

  30. 6 new players in?
    Where are they all going to play?
    Looks like Pedro will have a big squad next year.

    Unless of course we are having a clear out!
    What the saying “sell high, buy low!” if you know what I mean.

  31. Hey Dave I was accused of being racist on here just a few days ago, but it was by Batty, who probably does`nt remember, so i ignored it, no big deal.

    Nufc 37, it seems El Toro is a done deal, hopefully Joey will get a deal he can live with, be dumb on the part of management to lose him.
    As for Toro, we got our moneys worth and if he wants out, let him go, hes no Bale, Evra or Cole anyway, well perhaps he thinks so, but Sturridge certainly proved how average he was a coupla weeks ago.
    Taiwo and others are every bit as good, so dont sweat it.

  32. batty says:
    March 6, 2011 at 9:05 am
    chuck i misread summit u wrote soz ,you might not be a racist but your still a b@stard

  33. I like the cut of Grazza Carr’s jib like.

    Has the clubs interest at heart, nice to know he’s ‘proper’ connected with his fatha being an ex player.
    Nice!
    :)

  34. why aint there anything up for match predictions yet??? as yous can see on the score board i have alot of catching up 2do and im dying 2 get at least 1 score right in my life

  35. Get Gervinho as a Jonas replacement, if Enrique goes, first soil ur self and then try and get oscar wendt from cohpenhagen, not sure about shane fergie. Seydou Doumbia in at upfront and go for lacina traore. For the future, where is Haris Vuckic?, get him on bench with Nolan a mentor person. Also, why are we going for maitudi bloke from france, tiote is will probably betta and don’t go for elmander…..hes a dick