Chief Scout Graham Carr – We Need Six Players In The Summer

Newcastle United chief scout Graham Carr, who was appointed almost 18 months ago, has given some interviews to the local Sunday Sun today.

Jeremain Lens – PSV winger Newcastle are after

And that’s got to be good so we can hear more from Graham, whose star is rising on Tyneside.

Graham believes the times ahead for the Newcastle club are exciting, and he feels that the club should be bringing around sic players in over the summer, but he stresses that’s just a personal opinion.

Graham is 66, and he was born in Corbridge back in 1944, and has some good experience in the scouting world and has also managed some lower league sides, including Northampton Town, Blackpool, Maidstone United and Kettering Town.

Graham also had a playing career and played for Northampton Town, York City and Bradford Park Avenue from 1962 through 1970 when he retired, and in those days he was a half-back or midfielder as we would call it these days.

This is what Graham Carr said today:

“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.”

This is a very good interview today in the Sunday Sun and Graham explains what the scouting organization at Newcastle are busy doing right now, and gives some insights into what goes into scouting:

“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,” “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.”

“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.”

We think that player last weekend was probably Jeremain Lens of PSV, although it seems like Gervinho of Lille is also in the frame most weeks.

It’s really good to hear the views of someone who is skilled in the world of scouting, and we have to hope this is only the first of  interviews in the future with Graham – it’s always good to hear his perspective.

Comments welcome.

34 comments so far

  • solano

    Mar 13, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #1

    Alan must have been such a disappointment to him…….

  • Rotonda heights

    Mar 13, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #2


    Nice to see good old dark age homophobia and ignorance still goes on Not !!
    Actually I’m sure he probably doesn’t mind a son who makes 6m a year from his total earnings.

  • solano

    Mar 13, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #3

    Errrm….Rotonda I meant Pardew! Is there something I should know about our present incumbent?
    …..MA makes tens of millions a year by the way but it doesn’t mean I have to like him!!

  • GeordieGerman

    Mar 13, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #4

    “and he feels that the club should be bringing around sic players in over the summer”.

    Is that six or sick Ed? Looking at who we’ve brought in in the last transfer windows, probably the latter.

    Other than that. Nice article and nice to read about what happens behind the scenes.

  • solano

    Mar 13, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #5

    GG…..probably sick….given January’s arrivals….

  • BigKirky

    Mar 13, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #6

    Good to hear the wise man speak. Im really looking forward to getting in these new players in the summer. By the sounds of it they’ll try to move for the targets as early as possible which is good.

  • supermacnumber9

    Mar 13, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #7

    six in sounds about right – at the start of january window pardew said he wanted 3 in and we ended up with 3 out, so six will fix things as they stand. but what about shipping out more bodies, we could easily off-load 3-4 excess players – which may be added to by 1-2 transfer requests from established favourites. so we could easily end up with a better but same size squad, bearing in mind that we can only register 25 (if that is next season’s limit?) plus youngsters.
    so we can expect a busy time!

  • BigKirky

    Mar 13, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #8

    Just watched him on you tube. Def got some skills. Good with ball at feet running at pace and can score. I reckon a sign of a good confident player can be if they like a ‘chip’. Not from the local fishy of course, but a chip shot on goal. Shows class imo. His running style reminds me of Giggsy actually. Good so far 🙂

  • Spotlight Kid

    Mar 13, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #9

    We needed six players LAST summer. We got one (pathetic Perch, codger Campbell & crock Gosling don’t count). So we needed 7 in January – and still do.

    So this is an old shopping list dressed up to foll us again tactic – this is what Cashley does well, and it seems to work on Ed and many more on here…

  • BigKirky

    Mar 13, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #10

    Jeremain Lens btw

  • ronaldeano

    Mar 13, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #11


    Post 1, PMSL!!!! :0)

  • GeordieGerman

    Mar 13, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #12

    Sorry but this is totally off subject, but it’s something that’s been going round in my head for weeks now. I’ve noticed that Tottenham fans sing “When the saints” at games I’ve always thought that spurs fans are mainly Jewish. Do Jews have saints? As I’ve always thought saints were a Christian thing.

    Second I’m not sure but I think it’s Bolton. They sing something that is very similar to Blaydon races. What is it?

  • LeedsMag

    Mar 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #13

    Reassuring words from Graham Carr, I think/hope – or being cynical could it be a bit of club PR to reassure wavering senior players about the clubs ambition? On another matter is it just me or is anyone else sick and tired of the verbal diarrhoea that pours from Pardew? He is saying in The Sunday Sun, one of the keepers will go in the summer – I’m all for encouraging effort to fight for places but is this really the time and the place to do it when we are far from safe in this league? He is already bang out of order for criticising Krul after the collective shambles at Stevenage.This is very much the mark of Pardew – look at his history – give him time and he will undermine our famous team spirit

  • Rotonda heights

    Mar 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #14

    Humble apologies Solano. genuine misunderstanding there.

  • Lee Dodd

    Mar 13, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #15

    We Need 3 New Forwards Get Shot of Lovenkrands and Kuqi – Keep Best and Shola Ranger But Send Ranger to The Championship on Loan . A New Centre Half and Left back for back up to Jose – Dump Campbell and Perch – We need 10 New Players Really – Get Rid Of Alan Smith aswell he is bloody hopeless give the likes of Ferguson there chance !!!!! The Rest of the Midfielders get Them all fit and we have a Good Side to stay in the league and fight for a top 7 position. We Need 10 New Players.

  • roy cropper

    Mar 13, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #16

    how long has carr been at the toon ? has he actually recommended any players we have signed yet ?

    he’s claiming toite but so is hooters & before long – gobshite – pardew will be laying claim to it.

    this crap is all about the – season ticket sales – project.

    i fully expect the fat man walking away with another tidy profit at the end of the summer transfer window – something’s will never change.

  • gorskino10

    Mar 13, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #17

    Good insight but slight worring a little i mean if Tiotes took him 6 years damm thats way too long. No offense but it should take less than a year watching him off/on and seeing past games on DVD.
    Its nice he is menthioning Germany there is many good talented emerging over there. he may be looking at Nils who leading top scorer of Bundesliga 2?

    Holand is a great market you can find many good talented players some cheap/some expensive (like Wolfwinkel etc.) but we just need to take a GOOD look at players but not too long that clubs become interested.
    Like i heard Sylvian Merveaux is on verge of signing for Liverpool etc. and atm if we are watching Gervinhio we have to conclude this asap.

  • Vinicinhos

    Mar 13, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #18

    Lee Dodd (Post 15)

    New player? Shola Ranger?

  • RedMissionBells

    Mar 13, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #19

    I recall while Mourinho was at Chelsea, he said that he needs 2 quality players in every position. As such, a team should be made up of 22 quality footballers. Having 2 players in each position would cultivate a competition spirit within the team, hence improving the standard of play. With 2 players in every position, we can also minimise injuries as we can afford to rest players.

    At the moment, we have several positions where we do not have back up.

    Goalkeepers: Krul, Harper, Froster

    Leftbacks: Enrique.

    Rightbacks : Simpson.

    Centrebacks : Williamson, Colo, Saylor.

    Right Wingers : None

    Left Wingers : Spiderman, Ben Arfa

    Holding Midfielders : Tiote

    Central Midfielders: Barton, Nolan, Ireland, Guthrie, Gosling

    Strikers : Leon Best

    Note that I have left out Perch, Raylor, Sol Campbell, Ameobi, Lovenkrands and Smith as they are either not good enough for a team vying for a spot in Europe OR too old.

    I have also not included our youngsters as it will be dangerous to have youngsters without much experience as back up. For instance, if Enrique has a 2 month injury, I would be worried how Shane Fergurson is going to cope on his own.

    This system will limit first team opportunities for our youngsters, but with hard work, they can still come through the ranks. We are in the business of winning football games, Not trying to squeeze in a spot for local lads to be part of the first eleven.

    This system have been proven with Manchester United time and again. Take a look at Danny Simpson. He was a youth team player at Manchester United who although did not make the first team of Manchester United, has jump straight into our first team. Danny Simpson plays at a good standard.

    In Conclusion, I feel we require positions in LB, RB, CB, RW, DM, and 2 Strikers.

  • jimmymagpie

    Mar 13, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #20

    Pardew said this week thet we needed 4 players. Does the left hand really know what the right hand is doing at this bloody club?

  • hadthetshirt

    Mar 13, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #21

    @Roy Cropper.Carr joined us on 1-7-09 but he said he has watched Tiote for 4years.He was also watching BenArfa among many other players.He was at spurs for 2 years and man city for 4 so no doubt he has been involved with some cracking players.I for one am glad he has come home.I just hope he renews his contract in June this year.

  • MacToon

    Mar 13, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #22

    “I think we need half a dozen players in summer, to be honest.”

    AND replace the ones we sell!

  • cupiddstunt

    Mar 13, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #23

    roy cropper @ # 16 you are right there some things will never change

    Quote………. “he’s claiming toite but so is hooters & before long – gobshite – pardew will be laying claim to it.

    He said Tiote had been watched for four years so is not claiming the credit for the find.

    Quote……… “i fully expect the fat man walking away with another tidy profit at the end of the summer transfer window – something’s will never change.”

    In order to make a profit you have to end up with more than you started with, so MA is 250 to 300 million out of pocket after buying the club settling all the debts and supplementing the losses and wages so just where do you see the profit???????????

    In the realms of blind Mike Ashley hater you are right some things will never change

  • jimmymagpie

    Mar 13, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #24

    Cupidstunt – you’re the blind one mate. Do you know how to read a balance sheet? If so, wait till the next accounts come out, and add up how moch Ashley has pocketed by selling off the catering franchise, the security, the stewarding rights, the banqueting, and consolidating the ticket sales in with the club shop, and spare a thought for all the employees who have lost their jobs in the last 2 years. Ashley’s plan as in retail, is to buy as cheap as possible, sell on at a profit, and put workers on low basic wages and pay on performance. Ring any bells? Would he employ somebody who hasn’t a clue about the retail trade in Sports Direct? No, so why are we lumbered with a casino owner, who on his own admission hasn’t a clue about the football business, running NUFC?

  • max

    Mar 13, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #25

    luuk de jong

  • chuck

    Mar 13, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #26

    Mmm…. six players eh !
    With around probably say thirty mill. tops, does this include Ireland ?
    Otherwise not a lot of scratch for six quality players, unless they consist of at least two or three free agents.
    But sure sounds good to most fans, if you can get your head around believing it, gonna take a wait and see tude.

  • GeordieShore

    Mar 13, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #27

    Seems to be doing a great job Graham Carr….random that he’s the father of comedian Alan Carr though!

  • roy cropper

    Mar 13, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    Comment #28

    soft lad @ 23 player sales against player purchases in the majority of transfer windows under – chunky – have resulted in him pocketing huge profits.

    thats what i see !!!!!

    why does the own the club ? pure greed that’s why – he dived in without looking at the books because he thought other people were about to do a deal ahead of him – resulting in his little fat fingers getting burnt.

    now if he’s not happy propping the club up – i would suggest he puts it on the market for a reasonable price & f@cks off.

    MA hater ? nope i detest the fat c@nt.

  • tjshawsey

    Mar 13, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    Comment #29

    GG @ 12
    I thought they sung ‘oh when the spurs’, might be wrong.

  • Brutooon

    Mar 14, 2011 at 12:02 AM

    Comment #30

    we need at least 6 players, our injury list is always the highest every single season

  • Davies

    Mar 14, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #31

    Let’s hope we get plenty in and don’t let too many out.

  • woodsie08

    Mar 14, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #32

    @ Red Mission Bells…. totally agree with your post.

    @Ledd Dodd… absolutely spot on

    @ Jimmy Magpie…. you’re completely right about everything Ashley has sold, and his business philosophy. Furthermore, couldnt agree with you more about Lambias being a casino owner with no idea about football.
    But cupidstunt has a point, Ashley hasnt made a dime yet. Yes he may end up selling and making a profit, but so far he hasnt made any money, and has poured a lot of resources in himself. And a balance sheet doesnt reflect profit,… it reflects how much the club is worth, and could possibly be sold for. But as of right now, and the near future, Ashley has made a LOSS on NUFC.

    Would love to see Sow, Elmander, Gervinho and Miguel come in.

    That would leave us with;
    GK; Harper, Forster
    RB; MIGUEL, Simpson
    LB; Enrique, AN Other
    CB; Williamson, Taylor, Coloccini, Kadar
    RM; GERVINHO, Jonas
    LM; Ben Arfa, AN Other
    CM; Tiote, Barton, Nolan, Guthrie
    CF; ELMANDER, SOW, Ameobi, Ranger.

    Therefore another winger and left full back would be needed.

    What would people think of Craig Bellamy as a potential target for the summer? Too much baggage? Or would he be worth it?

  • woodsie08

    Mar 14, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #33


    Wouldnt mind seeing Lovenkrands retained on low wage with pay as you play bonuses.

  • Magpies-till-d3ath

    Mar 14, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #34

    woodsie08- are you mad, Best out! he never got a chance last year and this year when he has got the chance he’s proved himself 6 goals in 10 games is a good record and he still has plenty of years ahead of him.


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