Newcastle’s Crown Jewels – The Tremendous Scouting Network

There’s some good evidence that an area of the club that is doing some great work at the club at the moment is the burgeoning scouting network.

Graham Carr has every right to smile – doing a great job

It’s gone a little unnoticed that  money has been poured into two areas of  the Newcastle club over the last or so,  the Academy and youth  development is well understood to be an area Newcastle will continue to concentrate on and invest in.

But almost hand in hand with that is the Scouting network, which has grown in size rather dramatically over the last year or two, and Chief Scout Graham Carr has been at the club since February of last year, leading the work.

As most fans will agree,  Graham has already made some stellar buys in Cheick Tiote, and the seven players brought in over the summer.  Maybe the pick of the summer signings is French International  Yohan Cabaye, who was brought in for just €5M, through a release clause in his contract.

Alan Pardew was asked if it was lucky the new players seemed to have  such good characters at the club in his press conference today, and he said there was a lot of  hard work that went into checking out a player’s character and how they reacted on the field when things were not going well.

So Alan made it very clear that it wasn’t just luck that the players they signed in the summer seem such top notch both on and off the pitch.

Alan talked about the scouting network, which seems to be doing such a great job for the club:

“Graham and our scouts here, like any football club, work hard. There’s a lot goes on in the Premier League and all through the divisions which goes unseen by the general fan.”

“We must have 15, 20, maybe more than that, scouts who go out every week covering games and making sure we are covering all the bases.”

“But you also need to think outside the box and I think we are pretty good at that as well.”  “Derek understands how to deal with agents now and how to make sure we don’t miss out on a deal or a player who might be of interest to us.”

“Communication and information are very, very important.”

We agree completely with that last sentence, and we wonder if Alan can convince Mike and Derek of that, although to be fair the Mission Statement released last Sunday was excellent in explaining what the club is trying to do – so it was both good communication  and good information.

The scouting network at Newcastle is already in full swing at the moment, to identify targets  for the January transfer window,  and two strikers Newcastle have been linked heavily with recently are Modibo Maiga of Sochaux and Luuk de Jong of FC Twente.

Alan was asked if the process of negotiation for new players was ongoing and he said:

“Not in terms of discussions with clubs or players, but certainly, we are looking at players and finding out the information we need to find out about their character, etc, etc.”

“I’m not going to talk about transfers in October because it’s irrelevant. That hasn’t come from this end.”

If Newcastle keep up their fine form and remain high up in the league, we have a sneaking suspicion that Mike Ashley will make funds available to Alan Pardew for a couple of new players in January.

And certainly it seems almost certain that a new striker will be signed in early January, with the only question being who it will be, rather than if a new striker will be coming in.

But we also remember saying much the same thing in August, and it didn’t come about, but we feel sure Ashley and LLambias will ensure Alan Pardew gets his new striker in early January, after messing up badly on that in late August.

Time will tell.

But it’s also good to know that Newcastle have an excellent scouting network building up, which will hopefully allow the club to buy some top players at decent prices.

And that’s just a bit of  a change from years gone by, when we brought in average players for top dollar, and paid them high wages too, but there were very few real bargains.

Things are certainly looking up these days at Newcastle,  as we learn more of how the club is operating behind the scenes.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

41 comments so far

  • Spuggy

    Oct 20, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    Comment #1

    We have some really tough fixtures coming up which will really reveal where we are as a team. We still lack depth at CB, FB and the obvious no.9 forward.

    Will be interesting to see how things pan out in Jan, but not getting my hopes up this time – we have a great team now with everyone fit, and we haven’t seen the best of Santon or Arfa yet.

    Exciting times.

  • davybtoon

    Oct 20, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    Comment #2

    think maiga n petiers will arrive in jan

  • beefman13

    Oct 20, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    Comment #3

    Graham carr certainly has an eye for a good player well done son you have been doing some great work, interesting alan pardew tonight saying young ferguson is being seen solely as a left back and not a winger and ben arfa if he starts will only start behind a lone striker but that would do me fine i can imagine cabaye lovely through ball to ben arfa who slips it thjrough to the chosen forward up front, i believe that would work a treat.

  • Thump

    Oct 20, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    Comment #4

    What would make a good January imo: Another CB, another full back and a decent striker.

    That is literally all I’m hoping for.

  • Thump

    Oct 20, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    Comment #5

    @davy: Pieters is injured. Broken foot mate.

  • dmac

    Oct 20, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    Comment #6

    Im not a professional football player jeez im far from semi pro haha but i broke my foot and played football like 4 months later. Guess it depends on the severity. I just did a few pointless bones i guess! i would still love to get him in agree with needed a CB and a striker

  • BigKirky

    Oct 20, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    Comment #7

    Great that Pardew said that Carr was more frustrated than anyone at the previous state of signing failures and wants to do a fantastic job this time round. He’s certainly doing a stellar job so far and long may it continue.

  • BigKirky

    Oct 20, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Comment #8

    If we really want Pieters, a short spell on the sidelines shouldn’t mean the deal wouldn’t take place in January I reckon.

  • Dannyo

    Oct 20, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    Comment #9

    I’ve got to say, altho i trust Alans judgement on players, i feel even more secure that he’s not given full power on who to bring in.
    Say if DL gave AP 110% confidence in bringing in the right players, with any other manager we could look like Sunderland, QPR, and the sorts of team that think they buy some great players, but really don’t.
    Over the top wages, average performance, and we don’t get one bit further cause of it.

    With the scouting network, and with the knowledge and information being supplied, we shorten the risk of knee jerk reactions, limit the flops, and judge player potential and character through someone properly “equipped” to do so, as with Carr.

    No more Perchs, Smiths, Lovens, Routledge pls, let those who’s in the know do the work like they’re supposed to.

  • yorkshireToon

    Oct 20, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #10

    off topic what should i get on the back of my toon shirt i’m finally getting tomorrow? standard player or any other suggestions..?

  • soundoid

    Oct 20, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    Comment #11

    Yorkshire T

  • BigKirky

    Oct 20, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    Comment #12

    Who is your favourite player Yorkshire? Therein lies truth you seek…

    Unless you wanted ‘Sir Bobby’ number 1 of course 😉

  • yorkshireToon

    Oct 20, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    Comment #13

    hah yorkshire T’s not a bad idea and i’m not sure whether to get a player like myself (tough tackling midfielder) or as you say anyone which would probably be benny atm.. and sir bobby is also one for consideration i like that 🙂

    a couple of my mates think getting names on back of shirts is a kid thing but i’ve never thought that what do people on here think?

  • yorkshireToon

    Oct 20, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    Comment #14

    by a player like myself holding midfielder i meant i’d get tiote cos he’s already a legend!

  • davis_toons

    Oct 20, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    Comment #15

    ObMatins was playing aganist Spus earlier..was still very explosive.

  • davis_toons

    Oct 20, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    Comment #16

    Eric Pieters

    “I hesitates? because I have contract with PSV , but I see newcastle like a opportunity and a challenge for my future

  • davis_toons

    Oct 20, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    Comment #17
  • Magpie_Man

    Oct 20, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    Comment #18

    Think were good with the team weve got. But think we could get a young back-up CB as a long term replacement for Coloccini for when he retires and a LB like everyone is saying Eric Pieters. Team for Me if we get EP.

    Santon – Saylor – Colo – Pieters
    Tiote – Cabaye
    Marveaux – Ben Arfa – Jonas
    Demba Ba

  • davis_toons

    Oct 20, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    Comment #19
  • wynsleap

    Oct 20, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    Comment #20

    Having made so much of finding the “right” characters for The Toon I find it strange today that we are hearing of our interest in Taarabt of QPR.
    From what I’ve heard of him and his attitude I wouldn’t touch him with a barge pole.
    Anyway where would he fit in? Even poor Marveaux is having to wait for his opportunity…. and then there is Gosling, Guthrie, Vuckic etc.
    All our efforts in the next transfer window should be channelled into getting that “right” striker that’s going to make all that difference to our team especially with Demba leaving for the ANC in January.
    Even the full back cover could wait, I think, until the end of the season with Santon being able to cover both flanks. Still concerned about Colo or Saylor (or both)getting an injury though.
    The thought of Perch coming in brings me out in a cold sweat!

  • davis_toons

    Oct 20, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    Comment #21

    CD whos next best young thing..

  • davis_toons

    Oct 20, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    Comment #22

    The better young CDs are most inside Man Utd camp..

  • stevep

    Oct 20, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    Comment #23

    What’s annoying is opening your bag and finding some coont has stolen your MacBook air – proper gutted
    Anyway – agree that scouting network is way to go…

  • G

    Oct 21, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    Comment #24

    Sorry to hear that stevep. Was it insured? If so, get a computer this time instead.

  • Thump

    Oct 21, 2011 at 12:56 AM

    Comment #25

    @dmac: I tore my groin (twice) and haven’t played a game since. It depends on the person and their ability to heal more than it does anything else and even then, given we didn’t make too much of an effort to bring him in during the summer, I think this would probably end us going for him in the winter.

    Also keep in mind that the foot has more bones in it than anywhere else in your body – there’s really no telling how bad it could be.

  • ToonOz

    Oct 21, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    Comment #26

    Anyone have a link to the Pardew interview on BBC radio?


  • ToonOz

    Oct 21, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    Comment #27
  • FloridaToon

    Oct 21, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    Comment #28

    Won’t be on tommorrow so I will say 3-0 us on Sat.

  • Dannyo

    Oct 21, 2011 at 8:01 AM

    Comment #29

    Just had a thought.
    If Shola starts on Saturday, and HBA, Marveux, Santon are still on the bench, i’d be very dissapointed. Especially for the first two who has had terrific cameos, more so than Shola.

  • vuckic

    Oct 21, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    Comment #30

    luuk de jong,cyrus christie in january.offload lovenkrands,smudger and guthrie.from what i see christie is a better buy than pieters.and pieters is out 4 4months.

  • BigKirky

    Oct 21, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #31

    Even though Shola scored, Demba is the main man up front and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same line up started again or Ben Arfa starts instead of Best. Same goes with Santon and one of the full-backs.

    Technically the starting line-up against Spurs had to be bailed out by the subs coming on to level it.

    Once again, im really looking forward to going to Saturdays game!

  • BigKirky

    Oct 21, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    Comment #32

    In the phone-in last night, Pardew was sounding very excited about what Ben Arfa was producing in training yesterday and said if he can repeat it on match day, he’ll be brilliant for the team… Which of course we know 😉 but nevertheless it’s great to hear from the manager.

  • BigKirky

    Oct 21, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #33

    Just heard from a lad who gets inside info and he reckons that the board have backed up the striker bid and the Maiga fee is agreed and will come in January unless there’s a pretty big change of direction.

  • vuckic

    Oct 21, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #34

    @bigkirky i agree w u ba and benny first.santom wil b good w jonas on the left.obertan stays in the lyn ups.vuckic n gosling on the bench

  • bambams

    Oct 21, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #35

    I cannot think of a better match to give Benny and Santoon their full 90 mins than against Wigan, they will be up for it, Wigan will not know much about Benny and the fans will react creating a deafening noise around the ground.
    Its a squad game, lets give them a match….imo

  • BigKirky

    Oct 21, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #36

    And if anyone missed it before:

    @lee_ryder: #nufc to hold open training session on October 28 from 10:30 to 12:30 at SJP

  • bambams

    Oct 21, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #37

    we hear loads of rumours about who we are after but it would not surprise me one bit for all the strikers we have been linked with are “red herrings” and a smokescrean for someone we never expected.

    Everytime we are linked with a player Dogleash seems to suddenly be after them for liverfool

  • BigKirky

    Oct 21, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #38

    When Ben Arfa has had a few games and cleans off the rust , he’s going to be an absolute delight to watch. He’s the type of player people will pay to go and see. Sublime skill. It looks so easy for him when he half drops a shoulder and glides past the opposition.

    I just hope he doesn’t try and do too much. I think he will be slightly ball greedy, but with his skills he must think he’s unbeatable and I don’t blame him! 🙂

    Lets hope he doesn’t upset Tiote again hehe 😉 Actually Tiote also had a go at Jonas like that too. It was when he was cautioned against Spurs. Mr T just doesn’t like the ball to be given away cheaply.

  • UpTheRoad

    Oct 21, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #39

    Lawrenson has predicted us to win lads (and lasses!) We’re gonna lose now man! 😛


  • nimo

    Oct 21, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #40

    hba was poor gainst spurs alwayd.tryings too much .. hopefully its cos hes.been out 1st team so long and wants to prove he deserves to start.. agree that changes should b made n id b upset if.we didnt put 3 past these they been so poor.. but always to b wary of the underdog.. my team would b…
    Simo saylor.collo santa
    t tiote cabaye
    oba hba marv


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