Graham Carr Interview – I’ve Watched Cabaye Since He Was 18

There’s no doubt that Chief Scout Graham Carr has been a huge cog in the seemingly successful wheel of Newcastle United over the last 18 months or so.

Graham Carr – talent spotter in chief

Graham is essentially doing the job Dennis Wise was being paid £1M a year to do back in 2008, and the only difference is that graham is doing a much better job than Dennis.

And while we’re sure Graham is not getting the kind of money that attracted Dennis up to the cold and distant  Newcastle, his skill in getting players like Cheick Tiote, Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye Sylvain Marveaux and others shows his great worth to the club.

And Newcastle have signed the 67 year-old up to a five year deal, and that’s very good to hear.

Graham is a Geordie and his son Alan, TV’s Chatty Man is one of Britain’s most popular  comedians, and Graham has been the lead in ferreting out of talent in the French league.

That has so far been a  happy hunting ground for Newcastle,  and there will no doubt be more players on the way in January,  to further strengthen the Newcastle squad.

And the Newcastle fans seem to appreciate the fine work Graham has done for the club as they chant:

“In Graham Carr we trust”

Of course Graham will never be at the ground much on match days, or very rarely,  as his job is to talent spot around Europe, and mostly in France.

It seems that Graham was at Newcastle when I was playing for the Juniors (Newcastle N’s in those days)  back in 1960, and he’s just one month older than me.

And of course a certain Bobby Moncur was in his first year at the club,. coming down from Scotland after playing for the Scotland schoolboys up there, and he was a leader even then.

This is what Graham says about those days of old:

“There was a problem. I was a defender and there was another boy vying with me in those days. Someone called Bobby Moncur.”

I cannot say I remember Graham when I was at Newcastle as a teenager, but he’s now back at his home town club, and doing a fabulous job, and this is what he had to say in the People today in what is a great interview, where he provides several insights into how Newcastle operate:

“Our strategy is quite clear. We have realistic targets. We are not going to pay £20M for anybody.”  “What we are looking for are good players at the right age and at the right price.”

 “Have we signed too many Frenchmen?”  “It’s easy to get to northern France because only 60 miles from Calais are three teams, Lille, Lens and Valenciennes, and you find that you can take in two or three matches with one visit.”

 “Like Johan Cabaye, Ben Arfa is a full French international and he is obviously a good ­player. We got a tip-off and we moved in ­quickly to get him first on loan.”

“I’ve been ­watching Cabaye since he was 18. I liked him so much I asked Chris Hughton to come along with me when he was boss to watch him. But the asking price by Lille was then £10m, which was out of our reach.”

“We heard he had a get-out clause and again that was all we needed.”  “Then there is Sylvain Marveaux.” “We had been monitoring him for 10 months and we had a meeting on the Quayside in Newcastle and it was decided to go for him.”

“Whenever I saw Tiote he always ­impressed me. He ­always gave 100 per cent and he has a great attitude. He can also play a bit.”  “Alan Pardew and the rest of the ­coaching staff have got them ­organised. We are not giving goals away like we used to.”

“And once the defense has done its job, we have the flair players at the other end of the field.”  “Not only that, but we have a much stronger subs’ bench these days.”

“Things have all changed since I was a manager,”  “Managers do not have the time to go scouting like we did in my day. It’s a 24-hour-a-day job for them.”

 “We are working on some new signings.”  “Everybody has their say, everything is out in the open and I have to say it has all worked out OK.” “Obviously, as far as financial ­decisions are ­concerned, Mike Ashley has the final word.”

“I can only speak for myself but they are fantastic people to work for.”  “And, if I left Newcastle ­tomorrow, nothing could happen that would make me change my mind.”

Of course Graham Carr has not only been in football all his life, but he has also shown that unique and rare ability to spot a good player before he has fully developed.

And those types of skilled people are absolutely golden at places like Newcastle,  which is now a club willing to invest big time in youth, and are unwilling to pay out stupidly large fees for average mature players.

That’s what we used to do, and we weren’t all that successful, but who knows Newcastle could be on their way to one of their best teams in a  long long time.

We hope so.

Comments welcome.

15 comments so far

  • lee1892

    Nov 13, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #1


    Sunderland have opened talks with Tampax about the possibility of selling their stadium naming rights. The Tampax Arena appears appropriate considering the bad period they are going through

  • Graeme

    Nov 13, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #2

    Good God, our Chief Scout praising the management, in public and in print!!

    Doesn’t he know its a hanging offence?

    Or maybe he actually knows what is really happening at NUFC!!


    Nov 13, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #3


    What a brilliant post Lee! Just fell off my keyboard giggling!

    I wonder how many gems Carr has up his sleeve though!

    Wilfried Bonny from Arnhem Vitesse anyone?
    Get him before Ajax, PSV or FC Twente do!!!!

    Keep the Faith!

  • davybtoon

    Nov 13, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #4

    Think the fans seem to forget that u hav Geordies n die hard toon fans working at the club in carver, stone, Carr n Beardsley n they hav nothin but praise for the way Ashly runs the club, Beardsley for instance says the club is in the best shape its ever been

  • tomlkier

    Nov 13, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #5

    @3 Would that be the same Wilfried that gets recommended to 90% of new managers on FM12?


    Nov 13, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #6

    Wilfried Bony signed for Arnhem Vittesse in Jan 2011!

    Had a trial in 2007 at Liverpool but did,nt get offered a contract. He was 19 then! And was still learning!

    Most of the Dutch first division will be trying to sign him in Jan! If thats any recomendation i don,t know!

    But since he signed for Vitesse he,s been scoring for them in almost every game. He is also in the National Ivory Coast team with Tiote, Sow, and Gervinjho who went to The Gunners when we were after him!

    Don,t know what FM12 is? But i can guaratee you that come Jan he will be moving on to another club because Vitesse are strapped for cash like most of the teams who play in the Dutch competition!
    He would,nt cost too much to get and might be worth trying to get!

  • bills-son

    Nov 13, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #7

    davytoon – wasting your time mate pointing out how many of the NUFC geordie staff rate and support Ashley. The neggers are blind and deaf to ANYTHING positive about Ashley.

  • chuck

    Nov 13, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #8

    Another feelgood story, out of the blue!
    This could very well be the house organ of the club, you actually do a better PR job than the club blog itself.
    How about a bit of reality here, lets also mention those controversial subjects, or do you have a problem with that ?
    Been watching Cabaye since he was eighteen, yeah right ! (dont worry Mr. Carr, your stock is still high here, don,t have to boost it)
    Thats the problem with this blog. you stick with the feelgood stuff, avoiding any controversy, possibly why a lot of us ignore it.
    Boring !

  • Benton Toon Exile

    Nov 13, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #9

    Graham Carr will have supplied a huge list of potential targets so we can prove that sport is not all about money

    We hope!

  • cupiddstunt

    Nov 13, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #10

    Chuck @ # 8

    I have read your post a couple of times and still ask myself the same question.


  • BigAl9

    Nov 13, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #11

    Jesus, has this Blog turned into a ‘Mike Ashley Supporters Club’. Alot of positive comments for him here. It is being run properly now (although with 35 million still in his sky rocket, he still feels the need to sell SJP`s 120 year heritage to make a couple of extra quid!) He made a massive a rse of it for a few years first, and doesn`t give two monkeys about the fans or any Geordie Legends. The pair of them make me sick! I am happy that the team is chugging along very nicely but it`s not really down to Ashley is it! I try my best to forget they are there. I am astounded that there is support for the pair of them.

  • veto

    Nov 13, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #12

    @ chuck ,
    you need to stop craving the eastenders story lines and just concentrate on the football .
    are you happy with whats happening on the pitch ? cos apart from that and a few other things the rest of it has bugger all todo with us , they can do what they please as long as we put out a competitive football team

  • veto

    Nov 13, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #13

    at bigal9 , even if he did pocket the 35 mill , he’s entitled to , that still makes him out of pocket to thge tune of 100million loan to the club to clear its debt so we were not paying stupid interest every year , he’s saved the club more than the carrol fee by doing that for the past few year

  • BigAl9

    Nov 13, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    Comment #14

    @Veto. Yes thats because he didn`t do his due diligence and then got us F**kin relegated by making regular preposterous decisions! The bloke is a gambler, he`s hit the jackpot at the minute aswell. and don`t get me wrong I`m delighted with the lads at the minute, but reasons for that are because he has struck gold in hughton and pardew and Graham Carr.

  • BigAl9

    Nov 13, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    Comment #15

    Just for a bit of amusement – i`m not on a crusade or anything Veto.


You must log in to post a comment.