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!!