We’ve often said that Chief Scout Graham Carr is an important cog in the Newcastle United wheel.
Scott Parker – while he was at Newcastle
Graham has essentially assumed the position that Dennis Wise was supposed to do some years ago, but Graham is a good communicator and is part of the team under Alan Pardew.
One problem with Dennis was that in the reporting structure he was at the same level as then manager Kevin Keegan, and when both were appointed in January of 2008, Kevin and Dennis reported to then Chairman Chris Mort.
Graham has spotted some top players for Newcastle in the short time he’s been Chief Scout, and he brought Cheick Tiote to Newcastle, and was also responsible for bringing most of the players Newcastle signed in the summer, which is turning out to be one of the best transfer windows for Newcastle for a long time.
And maybe the best player Newcastle signed last summer was Yohan Cabaye, whom Graham scouted for a while when Yohan was at French Champions Lille.
And Lille is the only club Cabaye had ever played for, before he joined Newcastle United in June, and it’s a deal that was sealed before the summer.
Alan Pardew had made a check on the player as well, once Graham had indicated that Yohan could be a good player for Newcastle. And then somebody found out he had a release clause of just €5M in his contract, which is what Newcastle signed him for – what a bargain!
Alan talked about Cabaye today:
“It only took one game, against Lyon, to watch him,” We had obviously done a lot of scouting prior to that. He was very much in our sights before I arrived, mainly from Chief Scout Graham Carr.”
“But when I saw him just that once, and just looking at his stats, I said ‘This is a player and we will be very fortunate to sign him’. I felt we would have a bit more competition than we did so it was a surprise, yeah to have a clear run.”
“And he has just reinforced what we thought. But I do think he has had a couple of disappointing games for us so I don’t think you can put that signing-of-the-season tag on him at all.”
“He has taken a little bit of adjusting to the Premier League, especially against the aggressive teams, those teams that are in your face like Wolves and Sunderland.” “Spurs are not that type of team.”
“They will let you have possession and if you give him it, he is going to hurt you. This is a different type of game and I think Spurs is a good game for him and one he will do well in.”
Yohan has had a couple of games where he didn’t show through, but in general he’s been in good form for most of the season, but no doubt Pardew is letting the Frenchman know that he must be consistent in the English Premier League.
Cabaye will be up against another former Newcastle central midfielder and captain, in Scott Parker, and the England International seems to have come into top form, having turned 31 years of age on Thursday.
For the record Scott played 73 times with 7 goals for Newcastle in his two seasons on Tyneside from June, 2005 until July, 2007.
And notice how that compares with Joey Barton’s record of 84 appearances and 8 goals, when he was at Newcastle for four seasons, twice the time Scotty was at Newcastle, and that’s because of all the injuries Joey sustained at Newcastle.
And it’s interesting to note that Sam Allardyce brought Joey in from Manchester City, to replace Parker who was sold to West Ham United.
Yohan Cabaye talked about how he likes to play the game:
“My game is to get around the pitch and help my team-mates as much as possible. I enjoy being on the ball the most but if we haven’t got it it’s part of my job to chase it down.”
“I have my own style of play and I’ve always played like that. I have my own rhythm and repetition of effort.”
“My style is always to be involved in the action and receiving the ball and if people think that is a little bit like Scott Parker that is good, because he is a good player.”
It will be quite a battle in the middle of the park tomorrow, with Modric and Parker up against Tiote and Cabaye, and whoever wins that central midfield battle, will probably go on to win the game for their side.
We are hoping that will be Tiote and Cabaye, and Newcastle can get all 3 points tomorrow afternoon.