They are two chubby old men who swear so much, they even make Bernard Manning and Chubby Brown sound like a pair of Vicars.
One is reviled and one is revered by significant sections of Newcastle United’s fanbase, yet they are almost like peas in a pod. Two chubby, foul mouthed, old school pros with two lifetimes worth of experience in football. Carr has already been an excellent scout for Newcastle United, and there is no reason why Joe Kinnear can’t add to that significantly too, as a scout himself, as well as a bridge between the football side of the club, Mike Ashley and the future Managing Director, whoever that might be.
Since Kinnear’s return to the club, the first lazy stereotype of uninformed newspaper hacks was that Kinnear was putting a stop to the foreign signings because he’d never heard of them, that he was looking to sign more Kevin Nolans and Ryan Taylors, and also that Carr was set to walk out of the club in disgust. However, if you cast your mind to his time as interim manager at Newcastle, Kinnear was actually exploring the French market long before Carr came to the club. One transfer target Kinnear bid for was potential Butt replacement, Stephane Mbia, then a Stade Rennais player who eventually moved to Marseilles for over £10 million and eventually, QPR. There were others too such as Toulouse right back Albin Ebondo, who was looked at by Kinnear before he eventually moved to St Etienne.
Of course, these idiotic prattlings have since been discounted by Kinnear himself when he said:
“We will look abroad again with Graham. We have been palling up, so we will go abroad. We will go to everywhere in Europe looking at matches. We will scour the length and breadth of Europe to find what we want.”
“Each night, I will be going to matches. Maybe I will be going out of the country with Graham. We will travel around. We will go elsewhere to try to open the doors on new signings.”
Personally, the only problem I can see with Kinnear’s words is the seeming emphasis on travelling WITH Carr unless it’s just some kind of temporary fact finding mission to get himself aquainted with Newcastle United’s current scouting operation in action. As I wrote above, Carr has done an excellent job so far but with one huge caveat, he is only doing it within a very limited geographical area. It would be preferable perhaps if he and Kinnear didn’t “pal up” too much and turn Newcastle United scouting trips into one big Jolly Boy’s outing to France and the Low Countries. After all, if they were planning on scouting together, that would just be a wasteful duplication of effort. Surely it would be a better role for Kinnear if he helped to extend Newcastle’s reach beyond Carr’s Eurostar triangle of Lille, Paris and Brussels, as well as it’s connection to Rotterdam and Amsterdam?
Alan Pardew’s predecessor and the man who brought Carr to Newcastle, Chris Hughton, has continued a similar policy at Norwich City with his current chief scout, Ewan Chester, another who is reknowned for his knowledge of the European market. However, rather than just relying on mostly French players with the odd one or two from the Netherlands like Cheick Tiote or Vurnon Anita, Hughton and Chester have spread Norwich’s net far wider than Newcastle’s with the signings of such players as Alexander Tettey from Stade Rennais in France, Javier Garrido from Lazio in Italy, Ricky van Wolfswinkel from Sporting Club of Portugal, as well as giving the glad eye to PSV Eindhoven’s Ola Toivonen. This has also been balanced with signings from closer to home such as Leeds’ Robert Snodgrass, Tottenham’s Sebastien Bassong and several others.
If Kinnear takes a leaf out his his fellow ex-Tottenham right back’s book, this would be a very good thing for Newcastle United. Though come to think of it, why did we ever sack Hughton in the first place?