Benitez Moves Quickly To Appoint New Head Of Recruitment To Replace Graham Carr


Newcastle have just announced that manager Rafa Benitez has appointed Steve Nickson, the former U21 scout as the clubs’ new Head of Recruitment.

Chief Scout Graham Carr left the club recently and so Rafa has wasted no time in appointing the impressive Nickson to the head of recruitment after Steve has done some excellent work over the last several years – Steve joined the club six years ago from Blackburn Rovers.

It’s also great to see Rafa promoting from within the club and Steve now takes an important position reporting to Newcastle’s world-class manager – it’s a fantastic opportunity for Steve and well deserved.

Steve Nickson – new Head of Recruitment at Newcastle United

This is what Newcastle have just put out on the website:

Newcastle United has today appointed former Under-21s scout, Steve Nickson, as the club’s new head of recruitment following the departure of former chief scout Graham Carr last week.

Steve will work closely with manager Rafa Benítez and assumes responsibility for the organisation and management of player recruitment at all levels across the club.

Steve, along with Rafa and managing director Lee Charnley, will evaluate all aspects of United’s player recruitment function.

That includes the processes and systems used for scouting players at all levels throughout the club to ensure Newcastle United is best positioned to achieve its targets in this and future seasons.

This is what manager Rafa Benítez has said on the appointment:

“I’d like to congratulate Steve and welcome him to his new role with the club.”

“Steve has done an excellent job in the scouting department at Under-21 level and I am very confident that he will bring his many strengths to this new role, improving and building on our first team recruitment strategy.”

“As well as that at all levels throughout the club.”

This looks like a very solid appointment by Rafa Benitez and it’s good he has also moved so quickly to appoint the man who was responsible for signing Ayoze Perez three years ago for £1.4M.

Rafa will be seen back at Newcastle on Monday morning and we expect him to be upbeat and positive as usual – even though he is reported to be disappointed at our first team recruitment so far this summer.

Comments welcome.



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183 comments so far

  • Krul To Be Kind

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #1

    Could this be the result from the meeting during the week to revise transfer plans?

    0
  • BlacknWhiteBarmy

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #2

    Yey a signing !!!! 🙂

    1
  • Bobbybee

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #3

    Steadily away Rafa brings his own choices to the recruiting team. Doesn’t sound like a man on the brink of walking out.
    Probably not the ideal time to be switching around but he’s removed Carr and brought his own choice, so needs must I suppose.
    I doubt this has anything to do with the delay in signing players though. That said, we still don’t know for sure who Rafa wants to sign. It’s all a waiting game…

    1
  • Tsunki

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #4

    It’s a strange one really, hiring Rafa is not only a great PR coup and has truly snatched Mike and his team out of the fire, however it has also strapped them to a nuke. For whatever reason, if Benitez goes at any time this season, it will be highly unlikely he will get any proportion of the blame,even if it follows a disastrous run of results.

    All eyes would turn on Ashley and Co., Right or wrong, and it would seem almost impossible to pull themselves out of the huge crater that event would create.

    This means at present there must be an uneasy entente at the heart of NUFC these days, a cat & mouse game of confidence and bargaining, a pitting of wits and drawing of lines. Inevitably the question will be how much does Mike Ashley want to be dictated to by the very situation that pulled him out of his own disaster a year ago?

    How far can Rafa push Ashley before he decides his ego must come before the support of the fan base once again? We will get our answers soon enough I think.

    1
  • BlacknWhiteBarmy

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #5

    Rafa will be seen back at Newcastle on Monday morning and we expect him to be upbeat and positive as usual – Hmmmmm don’t know about that

    0
  • kakaobi

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #6

    Now that’s a job I’d like not really a lot to do and no targets to reach

    1
  • BlacknWhiteBarmy

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #7

    Don’t get me wrong – if he is so good why are none of the U21s breaking into the first team?

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #8

    Is this what we have been waiting for?

    And do we now have to wait whilst he does a bit of scouting.

    We might see some action come January 2019. 🙂

    1
  • BlacknWhiteBarmy

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #9

    Essex – u know we don’t do deals in January as there are no bargains!

    0
  • AncientC

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #10

    Promoting from within sounds like a typical Ashley money saving tactic. Did Benitez really want an under-21s scout? I thought Benitez had contacts in the game…

    0
  • Moonraker15

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #11

    I’m sorted now I’ve heard this news. Obviously Rafa ain’t going anywhere otherwise he wouldn’t be appointing Nickson.
    On that note, actually Rafa doesn’t walk does he? He has disagreements with owners but he sticks around and usually gets his way in the end!
    Let’s face it, the Caballero offer would never have happened pre Rafa!
    Howay the Lads! I’m back on the programme. Fake news sucks!

    1
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #12

    Ancient
    Must admit I thought the same re. contacts, thought he had a massive dossier on every player in the world, well not necessarily every player. 😉

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #13

    From what we hear, Rafa and Ashley get on really well. They like each other by all accounts and have no problems between themselves. The good relationship has been reported from all angles and I’ve not personally heard any stories to counter it.
    I don’t believe there’s any clash of wills right now from what comes out of SJP. Far too early to be greatly concerned about transfers. It’s not ideal, but it’s not fatal either.
    A bit of patience and we’ll know soon enough either way.
    I’m a glass half full guy, until I hear something to set me back. Hope I’m right, but like everyone else, I have been wrong before.

    1
  • AncientC

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #14

    Moonraker, there has no been confirmation that Nickson was appointed by Benitez, same as we do not know if it was Benitez’ decision for Carr to go. The timing seems somewhat odd… who knows.

    0
  • AncientC

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #15

    Benitez and Ashley only speak once a year, I would love to find out how Beardsley knows that they “get on like a house on fire.”

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #16

    It’s part of the football side, Rafa gets to pick his own people and his own players. He recruits his own team.

    0
  • jazzyp

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #17

    Come on lads keep ya peckers up!!
    I’ll be honest tho I expect new players coming in before pre season starts.. Or maybe 1st of July/2nd.
    Then again Monday could be a good day when they all report back.
    If not probably Wednesday when Rafa has got his feet back under the table.
    I’ll tell ya what next Saturday would be a good day cos everyone will be back off there holidays by then , So yeah let’s go for that day eh??

    0
  • Tsunki

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #18

    I think Ashley’s communications with Benitez are along the lines of Charlie with his Angels.

    1
  • Tsunki

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #19

    It won’t be long before the last preseason game will be the important deadline. Yep that’s the one 😐

    0
  • U.S Magpie

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #20

    This still all feels like, sorry guys we couldn’t get the signings we want story. Carr left us and we needed time to recruit someone else and he just didn’t have the time to scout the players we needed. Sounds a little Fat Mike action behind the scenes story line, like every transfer window.

    0
  • Moonraker15

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #21

    Ancient / Essex
    Rafa issued a statement! He ain’t gonna do that if not happy. I think this means Rafa is calling the shots and Nickson there to help him and another pair of eyes, recommend players for Rafa to look at. This means Rafa fully in charge!

    0
  • Ron Knee

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #22

    Any news about Gouffran? Did he sign?

    0
  • jazzyp

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #23

    Ron knee

    Yeah mate he signed on this morning…Got his P45

    0
  • Ron Knee

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #24

    jazzy

    You mean he’s gone?

    0
  • Tsunki

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #25

    Now open! NUFC Soundbite Store! Choose your own Soundbite and get a buzz phrase FREE! loads to choose from –

    “Like a new Signing”
    “Couldn’t get them over the Line”
    “We need the Fans behind us”
    “NUFC is wiping its own nose”
    “Healthy Accounts report”
    “Bolt the Cart onto the Horse”
    “I’m happy with this squad”
    “Consolidation is the important thing this season”
    …. And many more!!

    First 100 customers get a free “I’m Bas Dost” T -Shirt or a “Where’s Tranquillo” hoodie!

    0
  • AncientC

    Jul 1, 2017 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #26

    Moonraker, Benitez may not be unhappy about Nickson getting the job as “head of recruitment”, but that does not mean that Benitez appointed him. Not what I could garner from the above quotes anyway.

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Jul 1, 2017 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #27

    Moonraker, there’s a conspiracy afoot matey. Won’t let me give you a thumbs up for some reason.

    0
  • Ron Knee

    Jul 1, 2017 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #28

    Speaking of Bas Dost …

    0
  • YoungMag :P

    Jul 1, 2017 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #29

    Uhhhh ancient. Always so pessimistic. 🙁

    0
  • WWSBRD

    Jul 1, 2017 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #30

    Rafa Bentiez a man with a huge contact list appoints a scout from our own under 21s? Admittedly hes credited with Perez, Aarons and Mbabu but none of them are particularly great over all

    Id of though Rafa would bring in someone with experience behind them

    0
  • Ron Knee

    Jul 1, 2017 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #31

    Toon Army Syracuse

    Newcastle United – The club that’s shopping at Marks and Spencer’s but looking for Poundland prices.

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Jul 1, 2017 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #32

    Rafa picks his own team, wasn’t that one of his demands? So it’s fair to assume it is his choice. He’s picked every one of the people who work on the football side, why would he not pick this one? Rafa’s in charge of footballing matters. That was the deal.

    0
  • Moonraker15

    Jul 1, 2017 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #33

    I think they all know and agree funds are a bit tight this year as we don’t get the big wedge till end of next season. Otherwise they, including Rafa wouldn’t be looking for loan deals. If Rafa can consolidate this season I think we move on next season!

    0
  • AncientC

    Jul 1, 2017 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #34

    YoungMag, I’m not being pessimistic, just not jumping to conclusions. Ashley has a pattern of promoting from within. Benitez has a pattern of filling positions with his own staff from outside of the club.

    0
  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 1, 2017 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #35

    So the only person we’ve signed is an U-21 scout that I’ve never heard of at the club? Steve Nickson? First time I’ve heard his name mentioned. And why not have him in place the day Carr was let go? This is another strange one.

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Jul 1, 2017 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #36

    Moonraker, every penny is what he’s got, but we don’t know how much that is. Whatever it is, it’s less than even the smallest clubs in the PL will have to spend. That’s how it is. Rafa accepted that and must still think he can complete his project. This season will be tough and talk of top eight is crazy talk imo, but I trust Rafa to establish us this season, then push on in the following seasons. That must mean contract extension for him to finish the job.
    He’s in it for the long haul and is under no illusion how difficult it is, but he believes in what he’s doing. He believes in himself and I believe in him. Exciting times ahead imo.

    0
  • lochinvar

    Jul 1, 2017 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #37

    Caballero going to Chelsea is hardly significant. He’s 35 , has been offered a wad of roubles to hang around dingy London for a few months and in between play a few games of kick about with some kids against lower league sides like Sunderland in the Cups.
    Easy money, easy living, early retirement.
    Next.

    0
  • GeordieTwo

    Jul 1, 2017 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #38

    I see the little heart thingies don’t work now. Are both the club and the blog breaking down at the same time? Harrumph….

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Jul 1, 2017 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #39

    G2 the reason you ain’t heard of him is because he’s never mentioned! 🙂 The scouting side is not something that gets discussed much. If you’d asked me, I couldn’t have told you who he was either. It’s one of those hidden shady parts of the dark arts of the game apparently. Rafa trusts him to do a job, that’ll do me.

    0
  • Tsunki

    Jul 1, 2017 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #40

    Aye G2 I noticed the 100 hearts or so I regularly get for my posts aren’t registering at all.

    0
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