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.