Newcastle lay down their Ground Rules

June 12, 2012 5:55 pm

Graham Carr's successful career has been extended until 2020

Newcastle Owner Mike Ashley has sealed a deal to keep Chief Scout, Graham Carr, at the club until 2020 with an 8-year contract.


67-year-old Graham Carr has been considered one of the key reasons behind Newcastle United’s recent success in the Premier League. After the club was relegated in 2009 to the 2nd tier of English football, they bounced back by being promoted as champions of the Championship just one season later. Since returning to the Premier League, the Toon Army have acted as role models for other clubs to follow by climbing from an average 12th place finish last season to an outstanding 5th place finish in the 2011/12 campaign, without breaking a sweat.

Carr has been responsible for the signings of: Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote, Sylvain Marveaux and super striker Papiss Cisse, which each player has been used at the disposal of Alan Pardew, the Newcastle manager.

So, why the new contract?

Graham Carr’s importance to the club has been shown by digging deep to find young talented players for bargain prices and his ability to do this has not gone unnoticed by a vast number of clubs. However, Mike Ashley had been well aware of growing speculation that could lead to Carr being snapped up by a bigger club, so he took action to pin him to the club, tying him at the Sports Direct Arena until the age of 75.

“He has been instrumental in helping us to bring some truly exceptional young players to Newcastle and he has deservedly built one of the best reputations in the business.”

Yohan Cabaye of Lille is one of Carr's most vital finds

A good example of this is bringing Yohan Cabaye to the club for £4.8million from Lille. The French international, in his first season at Newcastle, proved to be vital to Newcastle’s tactics. The central midfielder was able to play 41 games; netting 5 goals and 8 assists, as well as setting up some spectacular moves that created goals from the likes of Demba Ba and most recent signing, Papiss Cisse.

Carr is now part of a long-term youth plan organised by Newcastle, which may have tempted him in favour of staying with Newcastle, as well as the fact that he is a life-long Newcastle United fan.

This summer, Carr will look to ensure that Alan Pardew has plenty of quality to choose from as he takes on both Premier League and Europa League, beginning next season. However, Carr has expressed that Newcastle may not be spending any money in this window.

“If we couldn’t get who we want this summer we wouldn’t sign anybody. That’s because we want to get things right here. We would not just bring a body in to fill a hole. That has always been the policy. It has to be the right age, right criteria and right attitude”

This statement is constructive on Newcastle’s new sensible spending scheme, where money can only be spent on players for the right amount of money, not overpriced players. But, the club has been criticised by it’s own fans for not spending what they get as soon as the chance arises. This was made clear when Liverpool gave Newcastle a deal they could not refuse by offering £35million for England striker Andy Carroll, where they stated that the cash would be used wisely, which certainly paid off.

Nevertheless, holding onto such players will prove to be a difficult task for the Newcastle board. Manchester United are already banging on the door for Yohan Cabaye, however this issue has been covered quickly by his pledge of loyalty to Newcastle and his word to shrug off any big money moves this year. The same story applies to Hatem Ben Arfa, whose ability on the ball has caught the eye of many.

Newcastle appear to be the most organised and relaxed club in the English Leagues at the moment because they have been able to tie up any loose ends early in the transfer window before any hoorah can develop. Maybe even Graham Carr’s son, Alan, could get a call up soon?


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