Mort – Search On For Great Players Across The World

Another very good interview today with Newcastle chairman Chris Mort.

Chris comes across as very realistic and talks about the game on Tuesday night at Arsenal.

He also mentions that Newcastle are already launching a world-wide search for players of all age groups, who can then be developed at the club.

That sounds like what Arsene Wenger has done continually at Arsenal – and we’re all for that.


Chris Mortalready thinking long term for the club

This is what Chris Mort said today:

“Frankly, if we’re going to win anything, Arsenal away is the sort of game we have to play in, and try to get a result that will put them out of the competition,”

“If we accept a position where we aren’t going to be capable of beating the likes of Arsenal in a cup game, we’re never going to win a cup.”

“If you look at the signings we’ve made, there are strikers and midfielders, but the real focus has been on strengthening the defense, and I think that’s is going to be crucial if we’re going to compete in any competition.”

“We have to be a tougher side to beat and we have to be capable of going away from home and getting victories.”

That’s very true and it’s obvious that building up our defense is what Sam is trying to do as a first step. Ensuring our defense is a lot more solid than it’s been for many a season is certainly needed. You cannot win games if you are likely to concede dubious goals at any time, like we have in the past. Sam has already introduced great competition for places – so if a player doesn’t get the job done – he knows there are others who are only too willing for the chance to do the job.

Chris continued:

“The Premier League is a very physical league and the players we brought in – players like Joey Barton and Alan Smith – are very capable of holding their own against any side.”

“We’ve also had a real focus on players who have real heart on the pitch because we want the right balance of skill and athleticism, but we also want players who have the right sort of spirit to compete for the club.”

But Mort’s long-term sights are set on a massive player hunt that will span the globe and bring players into the club.”

“Our minds are already turned to who we might bring in and, in an ideal world, we’d like the focus to be on bringing in players that we can develop over the long term,”

“We’ve half an eye, not specifically on January, but on how we take the club forward over the years to come.”

“Whilst our first major priority was to make sure we sorted out the first-team squad and had a squad capable of competing in the Premiership, we want to bring in some younger players of all kinds of age groups.”

“We haven’t set Sam a target of what position we want to end up in or what we want out of this season, but Sam and myself are working hard to get the squad into good shape and get a sense that we are moving in the right direction.”

We like the idea of identifying young players before they become great and getting them to the club. We did try that strategy with Bobby Robson but were not too successful as we paid big money for youngsters such as Hugo Viana (Portugal) and Diego Gavilan (Paraguay) – but they never really matured into good players. A good example where it was successful of course was with Charles N’Zogbia who we signed when just 18 years old from La Havre.

Sam also seems to have a good sense of who will become a good player so this strategy could well work for the club. It’s going to be extremely interesting now as to what acquisitions we make in January since Chris has also said that big money will be made available to Sam, if he needs it. This all sounds very good to us.

Comments welcome.

14 comments so far

  • sean

    Sep 23, 2007 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #1

    i think that the article is ok what do you rekon ?

  • adam

    Sep 23, 2007 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #2

    about time we were looking for quality players overseas. why not unearth the next ronaldinho, kaka, messi etc. instead we’ve always looked at players around us with names like titus bramble, boumsong to name a couple.

  • Hadji

    Sep 23, 2007 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #3

    This is what i wanted to hear for a long time.Excelent idea Chris Mort,the best way to get a promising player is to look at other teams youth academies such as Barcelona,Boca juniors,Ajax etc, and sign 18 year olds players which are good but they wont be signed a profesional contracts by their clubs.
    Example-Fabregas and Fran Merida from Barca’s academy signed by Arsenal for a very small transfer fee.

  • stjames

    Sep 23, 2007 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #4

    The short term goals seem to be “physical …, real heart …, athleticism …, tough … and defense. The long term vision seems more rosy indeed. I realy like the team building, or I could say club building effort he’s making. Good interview with Chris and the prematch one with Sam too. But we need more 1/2 touches and passing NOW. 🙂

  • hadrian

    Sep 23, 2007 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #5

    the best examples we have are shearer , gazza and beardsley !!
    all of them in their prime could have walked into any squad in the world , then if you add in all the twaddles ect , we knocked out players of amazing standard within a few years . your telling me that this was a fluke in our time period ? or the toon just aint looking close enough to home anymore .
    need more football clubs , youth teams and boys clubs sponsered by the toon wihtin our own city , wouldnt cost them much to push for a drive in our young footballing talent over these next few years .

  • Tom

    Sep 23, 2007 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #6

    Mort – “looking for younger players of all kinds of age groups.” lol

  • newcastle fan

    Sep 23, 2007 at 5:35 PM

    Comment #7

    hey im tom :D:D:D

  • Lull

    Sep 23, 2007 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #8

    Indeed that will be lovely, setting up overseas camps, talent search at all big clubs and most importantly nurturing homegrown talents is what our club need for the future. Good thinking by Chris Mort and Big Sam, 100% professional 🙂

  • drew

    Sep 24, 2007 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #9

    He saying nothing grounbreaking here for me. All clubs have scouts who search for talent.

  • leo

    Sep 24, 2007 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #10

    does anyone know of any good footballers that newcastle could sign and bring into the team, also any idea of a website which recomends players… sounds unlikely i suppose….????

  • Tom_toon

    Sep 24, 2007 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #11

    No websites, mainly bullshit anyway. Just watch more games. Jonathan De Guzman is one id like to see, i believe we also need a CAM/RW/Playmaker/Dead ball specialist, which he is.

  • JP from The Rock of Gibraltar!

    Sep 24, 2007 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #12

    Great ideas by the club and here in Gibraltar we had a youth team sponsered by Newcastle. It was very encouraging for the locals as there is lots of untouched talent down here. Sadly for some reason the new backroom staff has not renewed the sponsership which is sad as many youngsters were fighting tooth and nail to get a chance of a trial at Newcastle United. Hopefully after this interview Chris Mort may rekindle that connection with Gibraltar and take a closer look at our home grown talent.

  • Danger Mouse

    Sep 24, 2007 at 7:36 PM

    Comment #13


  • PK-Norway

    Sep 24, 2007 at 9:15 PM

    Comment #14

    If we gonna bring in some good young players we should learn from Ajax and Sporting,they bring in lots of talents ,i am happy about what mort said..finally we are going out of europe maybe and bring som real talents specially from South -America,a messi or Dos Santos who knows 😀


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