The local Sunday Sun today has an excellent article by Mark Douglas, which lifts the lid on what goes on behind the scenes in the transfer market at Newcastle, and it’s all very very interesting.
Graham Carr – leads massive scouting effort for Newcastle
There’s a massive amount of work done on each of the Newcastle transfer targets, to ensure they can overcome adversity in games, that they have good characters, how and where they play in games for their current clubs, where they will play at Newcastle if signed and what will be expected of them on Tyneside, and much more.
All this goes into the work of signing a player for Newcastle United these days.
Newcastle are hosting top agents from around the world to St. James’ Park, so they are aware not only of the terrific facilities at Newcastle, and the towering St. James’ Park, but that they also know what Newcastle are doing to build both the playing staff and the club.
It’s no coincidence that France has been marked as the number one league for recruits, because not only are the wages there not high, but only a few clubs in the league regularly get over 30,000 crowds. Newcastle has over 48,000 at the game against second bottom Wigan Athletic yesterday.
Lille, Sochaux, Lorient and Rennes are those clubs, and just happens to be the clubs that Newcastle scouts have watched most this season so far.
And before they meet with the player’s agent Newcastle have amassed reams and reams of information on the player, and Alan Pardew can tell them where they will play, what is expected of them on Tyneside, and even how moving to Newcastle can improve their individual game.
So Newcastle have the where, what and how all ready, when they discuss a transfer of a player, and that sounds impressive.
And that’s a lot different from days of old when Newcastle would offer the club a very high and often daft fee for the player, and then let the player know he would get ridiculously high wages on Tyneside.
Newcastle are also offering interviews and all kinds of public relations information to the French press, and newspapers like L’Equipe are allowed access to players and the like.
And we’ve even received requests from some French press for interviews and articles about players, and we’ve passed them on to the Newcastle club.
Newcastle scouts go through L’Equipe and other French papers and literature available to gather all the information they can on their targets, as Graham Carr and the other twenty or so Newcastle scouts gather information about the player on the field of play every week.
This is what Alan Pardew said about all of this rather impressive work ongoing at Newcastle:
“The club had a strong process in France before I arrived. Graham Carr has a big influence in that particular country, and he’s somebody that we all trust.”
“We also have some really good contacts there. Don’t underestimate how important that is. When a player comes through the door, we know what we’re getting.”
“We feel that we’re getting good players, good characters. You don’t know for certain whether he’s going to be a success until ultimately he plays but you can have a good idea of what you’re getting.” It doesn’t end there, though.”
“You can look at the stats of a player, and the stats can read well. The game’s in the mind, though. The mind is where the character is. There’s also that thing when adversity comes, how will he react?”
“All those things come from the mentality of a player, not the physical make up of a player.” “So you have to make sure that you cover all of those bases.”
“I have the final say on transfers. I think that’s important for any manager,” “You get the opportunity then to say, ‘I like what the team have done, I know where he’s going to fit in my team, let’s take him’.”
“We will get down to something like three or four players for one position.” “I will tend to favour one of those, or maybe two of those – the financial situation might then take its course.”
“It’s very rare we get down to the third choice.”
There’s little doubt that Newcastle do their homework on players, and to be fair to the club, it has seemed to work really well with the lads Newcastle brought in last summer, and they are all looking to be good buys with excellent characters.
And it looks like Newcastle will bring in at least one new player in January, and the top priority is again a striker.
But we also think Newcastle will bring in a center-back, as Alan admitted last week he didn’t have full cover for that position, especially when Mike Williamson is out injured.
It doesn’t seem that it’s been pure luck that has caused Newcastle’s amazing start to this season.