In Carr we trust, or does money talk?

Graham Carr
With the January transfer window creeping toward its halfway point, our efforts to find a replacement for long term absentee Steven Taylor ought to be in full swing behind the scenes.

But can we expect to see an established defender turn up on the St. James’ Park doorstep? If we do, is that necessarily a good thing? Perhaps not, if you’re a fan of Fabricio Coloccini.

You can call me a cynic and you wouldn’t be the first, but I honestly believe that the arrival of a genuine first-teamer will signal the beginning of the end for captain Colo. With Fabricio widely reported to be on anything between £70k-£90k per week, and with contract negotiations having reached an ominous stalemate, surely spending the entire rumoured £8 million budget on a new centre back will lead to the Argentine being moved on in the summer?

We’ve known for a while now that our owner is all about trading in for the younger model. By the time the window closes, Colo will be 30 years old. As classy a player as he is, can you really see the board shoving a four or five year contract extension under his nose at that age? The hardball tactic didn’t work for Nolan, or for Barton, and – while there are promising young players willing to step into his boots for perhaps half the coin – it doesn’t seem as though it will work for Colo either.

As disheartening and infuriating as I find that, it’s simply the way it is. The slow and steady progress of our curly haired captain has seen him become one of the most loved and rated players of the current batch. The man is a pleasure to watch at times; calm and composed and more comfortable with the ball at his feet than half of the attacking minded players in the division. Perhaps it’s a tad early to be mentioning Geordie folklore, but I will go as far as saying Coloccini is one of the best we’ve had at the club in the Premier League era.



That being said, I don’t actually think Colo is the best signing we’ve made under the dictatorship of Mike Ashley – for me, that accolade has to go to Graham Carr.

Our Northumberland born chief scout has been nothing short of a revelation since Ashley hired him to pick up the pieces of the short lived ‘Executive Director of Football’ role vacated by pantomime villain Dennis Wise back in April of 2009. Since Carr took over recruitment, we’ve seen him bring in the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheik Tiote, and Yohan Cabaye for fees that you would have to describe as nominal in comparison to the ridiculous overspending of the not so distant past. Not only did we manage to sign all three of the aforementioned players for considerably less than we paid for one Michael Owen, but all three have shown enough to suggest that we got more than our money’s worth.

So, all things considered, here’s the question: would you rather see us go all out to land an established central defender to play alongside Coloccini for the remainder of the season – one who may or may not (but probably will, if you ask me) take his place next term – or would you prefer to see us send Carr out into the rough in search of another diamond?

Each approach has its merits. Being Colo’s number one fan, I would hate to see the chances of him signing an extension jeopardised in any way, and – if Carr’s previous is anything to go by – I might be inclined to simply place my trust in him and hope that he can find us some affordable quality from the continent. In reality, he probably has a handful of targets in mind. After all, this is the man who admittedly monitored the progress of Tiote for four years before deciding he was worth moving for, as well as keeping a watchful eye over his midfield partner Cabaye since the Frenchman was just 18 years of age.

On the other hand, is it sensible to take a risk on an unproven player after such a brilliant start to the current campaign? Sure, there’s a fairly good chance that Carr will pull another rabbit out of his proverbial hat, but if he doesn’t, what then? Pardew’s recent rallying cry (if you can call an admission that Europe is a realistic target a cry) suggests that the gaffer feels we have a second wind in us. What if Alan is right? What if we go on another unbeaten run? Why shouldn’t we pay a little extra for that guaranteed quality and just go for it? Surely, with 33 points chalked up at this stage of the season, we’re too far gone to be conservative?

This is all relative, however, and we all know why. Ben recently posted a good article that pinpointed the reasons why the first (and cheaper) of the above scenarios is probably the one we can expect to see unfold. Ambition, and lack thereof. It is perfectly possible (probable, even) that we will bring in a cheap import defender and cash in on Coloccini before his contract runs down.

Time will tell. One can only hope that whoever is brought in is an upgrade of (or at least as good as) Mike Williamson, but we all know by now that beggars can’t be choosers, and beggars is what we are steadily becoming.

Still, hope remains as long as we have Carr – a genuine European pickpocket!

About ArchieMag

26 years young. Bachelors Degree in Politics and Media Studies. Aspiring author and journo. Lived in Newcastle all my life and will live here for the rest of it. HWTL.

74 thoughts on “In Carr we trust, or does money talk?

  1. Troy.
    I must advise you that carrying out such tasks, as productive as they might be, must be carried out as safely as possible. Please follow my health and safety tips on ‘The beginners guide to sticking paper clips together in a steam room’
    – Be weary of paper clips sharp ends. They have a tendancy to pierce and cut skin.
    – Caution should be shown when creating a ‘steam room’ using a 3 bar fire and otter urine. As well as electrical shock dangers there is also a danger of being bitten by an otter and they have venom which can be lethal.
    – Correct personal protactive equipment (PPE) should be worn. We recommend jodpers, sam jacks t-shirt and a wig from Percy street ‘Magic Box’.
    – Use the buddy up’ system
    – Always inform people of where you are going and at what time they can expect you back. A ‘Steam-Clipper’ should never stay in the steam room for more than 3 days.
    Most of all… enjoy yourself… ‘Steam-Clipping’ is days of fun for the novice or the more experienced amongst you

      (Quote)

  2. @Nobby

    I see where I went wrong now.

    I used the Newburn and Ryton steam room and paper clip safety regulations 1969, where clearly you used the Byker and Walker regs and codes of practice which were implemented in 1995.

    I have to admit that the 1969 regs are more my stamp as there are no clothing stipulations and the use of Grandad Les Kellets trunks and boots are not forbidden.

    I found the Lycra trunks anti static qualities are beneficial when doing endurance staple sticking. 😯

    The otter fits snugly down the front of the trunks when leaving the steam room and looks like a huge lunch box. 😛

      (Quote)

  3. I’ve just nipped to the toilet for a pea and jumped back in my laundry basket with a lump of Edam cheese and a brussell sprout.

    Laters Gaters. 😛

      (Quote)

  4. Hitman – I’d say so.

    Who had heard of Cheik Tiote for example?

    Kind of see what your saying though as the likes of Cabaye, Benny, Santon were all talked about and rated prior to us. However the skill there has been in identifying the fact that those players have been available from within our meagre budget which is no mean feat!

      (Quote)

  5. Tiote, Cabaye, Ba, Vuckic, Coloccini, Santon, Guthrie, S Taylor, Willo, Krul.

    I kind gotta go with Hitman on this one…

    Which of these did Carr scout that we didn’t already have are we weren’t already monitoring?!

    I think this Carr chapie gets a lot of credit for things he hasn’t done.

    Not saying his doing a bad job, I just don’t think anybody can be certain which players are his?! 😎

      (Quote)

  6. Hitman – He was a bench player for the Dutch Champions before he came here. He very rarely started.

    JJ – Carr had scouted Tiote for three years according to himself.

      (Quote)

  7. my team vs qpr

    ………krul………
    simp col wilo santon
    benny guth cab jonas
    ….shola … best……..

    unless we have a new player in which i verrrry much doubt!!

      (Quote)

  8. Carr has been good no doubt about it. Now we need him to get us in some more talented lads 😀

      (Quote)

  9. Army69

    Shola and Best up front!!! 😯 TOGETHER!?!?!
    Would much much much rather have one of them, preferably Best to start, next to Vuckic. Even Lovenkrans.

    Ameobi is useless but can finish, and Best is decent but can’t finish.

      (Quote)

  10. if benny doesnt get a start on sunday then i dont know when he ever will 😆 , think ive wwatched the goal 50 times a day from the weekend

      (Quote)

  11. Tiote – Brought to the club under Carr.
    Cabaye – Brought to the club under Carr.
    Ben Arfa – Brought to the club under Carr.
    Santon – Brought to the club under Carr.

      (Quote)

  12. Vuckic is better than both of them… For me he is ready to start, and from what I’ve seen, he is more of a striker than a midfielder.

      (Quote)

  13. Carr has his remit on the type of player we want in at the club, he can scout them research them and recommend them. Thereafter it’s up to the board to try and get them in, but that’s between the club that own the player and our board and if they don’t want to sell or it’s stupid money they want for the player, or the players agent is laying stupid demands or the player themselves don’t fancy the toon then it may not happen.
    Also, just because a player is doing well in France for example, doesn’t mean he will be as effective in the EPL, or may take a while to adapt to the change ie Santon.
    I don’t think I’ve ever had as much confidence in our recruitment policy as I do now. Carr is doing brilliantly for the club and the board will thrash out the best deal they can get

      (Quote)

  14. Surely his job isn’t just to find “unknown” players? , it’s to find players that fit into Fatmans criteria(cheap and young) but also to find players that are willing to come here, have the right temperament, will improve the team/squad and also get a blend of some straight into the first team and some for the future. Between him, Pards and the rest of the scouting team, I don’t think they’re doing a bad job imo.

      (Quote)

  15. Rich/Sharpy – Exactly my point. It would be easy to recommend player x, y and z to the board, but it’s pointless if they aren’t available at the right price or are completely unavailable or just don’t fit in with what we have. A lot of that is down to scouting which Carr heads up before putting forward his lists

      (Quote)

  16. JJ

    I apologise for copying and pasting that post… but you can’t muck about with health and safety when a 3 bar fire and otter urine is involved.

      (Quote)

  17. Just put £100 on Ba to score the first goal against QPR. Get on quick before SkyBet realise their mistake!!!!

      (Quote)

  18. I really hope we don’t sign Luuk de Jong. I just bought him on FM11… He’s crap! 😯

    I’ll give them credit though, they got Shola spot on… he’s crap too! 😆

      (Quote)

  19. maybe we will sign colo on a new deal, maybe he will accept reduced wages to stay as he is getting older and his family are settled. then we can sign a decent defender now to compete with him and saylor when he returns, and next season we have a fuller squad with more competition to propel us further in the league / cup / europe 😯 all about keeping that PMA 😆

      (Quote)

  20. Toonsy: There is an article in drafts for you. Will also be writing another couple when I get home from 6th form 😀

      (Quote)

  21. I see The Chronicle has come up with nothing of note today? No Pardew pre-match presser? Or will it be tomorrow as we play on Sunday?

      (Quote)

  22. Dave – Fair enough. If we’re getting ambiguous about it all… What about the rest then? Santon, Benny, Cabaye? Not just the players, their avilability and fees?

      (Quote)

  23. Toonsy: 😆 I’d been finishing a lot of coursework and was ill for a couple of days last week so that’s why you haven’t heard from me. But I’m back in the writing swing

      (Quote)

  24. Toonsy when does the chronicle ever? We could all work for that paper just recycle news elsewhere 🙄

      (Quote)

  25. Depends what you class as unearthing a gem really. Tiote and Cabaye were title winners with their respective clubs but outside of Holland and France i’d wager not many had really heard of them.

      (Quote)

  26. Where is Rodzilla??

    He’s just made me piss myself laughing at the ‘BRRRRRRRRRAAAAAPP’ comment.

    ‘POP! POP!’ homie.

      (Quote)

  27. Even if people were aware of the recent signings its still impressive to pick players so suited to our team, Tiotes debut at everton was unreal he looked like he had played here for ten years and benny made his first start in the same match and we all remember what happened.

    Cabaye hit the ground running and Santon has looked class since breaking into the side, Ba has been immense (since ramadan)

    Hoping for a couple more in this window… 😉

      (Quote)

  28. Well if Carr can’t have any credit, then it has to all go to Delboy and Fatman I’m afraid 😉 😆

      (Quote)

  29. Zoe – no excuses, get your finger out girl!! your letting the team right down. lol

    Toonsy, when you consider the players you listed brought in under Pardew and scouted by Carr, that’s a large percentage of players brought in in the last few seasons and are all first team players – and some of the best players we have…. and the final and being that they were all brought in for probably less than £20m.
    Throw Ba into the mix, which I would credit to Pardew and his West Ham connections and there’s 5 players in 2 seasons who have been superb signings.
    I think if you really look at the signs in under this board, you’d probs need just the one hand to count the poor signings made.
    Still over 2 weeks to go in Jan, still confident on 2-3 players in and still confident of 5-7 players in the summer.
    I honestly believe this board look at Europe as a sap on resources for very little income and would sooner finish comfortably in the top half for afew seasons to build a squad to go for top 4 and champions league, similar to what Spurs have done. Only this board want the club in a position where we are not dependent on the money champions league footy brings. If were in great, if not, we don’t need to sell the best players

      (Quote)

  30. i think another important thing to note is that in general, the players that carr / pardew has brought in have hit the ground running generally and been in the first team straight away. the only one who didnt was santon and he was injured / learning language and generally adjusting to being away from italy for the first time

      (Quote)

  31. Nobs, whats crackalackin ma blood?

    …..I’m always lurking about, just don’t always comment. Anyway, ma phat homeboys just rolled up, so am strapping up ma jammy, gona bum rush sum newjacks for cheese. 😯

    Be easy.

    BOOYA!

      (Quote)

  32. The board lack ambition? Nonsense – we have improved under Mike Ashley above and beyond anyones expectations. Don’t confuse the term ‘ambition’ with ‘idiotic uncontrolled throwing away of cash’

      (Quote)

  33. we have improved under Mike Ashley above and beyond anyones expectations <<< stardy you got that part right who would of thought it under that fat fool 🙂

      (Quote)

  34. BOOM! Stardy @ 58

    Why are you talking sense all of a sudden?… when i first came on here in the summer all you did was talk b*llocks.

    Rod

    I was going to come out with a load of ‘really funny’ yardy speak to make you laugh as i’m a comedy genius… but ‘homie’, ‘crib’ and ‘fo’shizzle’ is my extent.

    apologies

      (Quote)

  35. Stardust – Funnily enough, I’ve just written an article stating exactly that. It’ll be up at 17:30 ish so you can book yourself a slot to fight the corner 😉

      (Quote)

  36. Nobby – it’s quite easy really, you just stick “innit” on the end of every sentence, even if it doesnt sound right it being there… innit

      (Quote)

  37. Nobs, nee need to apologise, you still turn it out. I ain’t mad atcha, you got da flava innit 😎

    ….meanwhile I’ll look forward to watching Stardy squash beef at 5:30 😯

      (Quote)

  38. Can’t wait for the article. 😛

    It might be a good idea to leave it til February.

    ” Colo refused to sign and in the end handed a transfer request in. We wish him all the best at Liverpool. It’s fortunate we have players like James Perch at this club to step in”

    Derek Lambias February 2012 😯

      (Quote)

  39. Anyone watching Deal or No Deal which is on now.
    Adam is the spitting double of Stardust. 😆 😆 😆

      (Quote)

  40. actually Troy I could see him moving to Manure, to replace that useless [email protected] rio underhand. As he is complete dogshit this season.
    Colo and Vidic will make an awesome c/b pairing imo.
    Probably only get about £6M for him n al. 👿

      (Quote)

  41. [email protected] , I agree february would be a better time to show an article on how the revolutionary genious building the club from the ashes and saving us from being the next leeds but i look forward to reading it anyway ,
    as for carr doing a good job as is the youth setup but to rely only on this if you want to be in the top 7 in the prem is impossibe , imo what we need is a happy middle ground spend money when needed as well as scouting and youth development , throwing money at it was silly and dident work but this approach is just as silly somewhere in the middle is what most fans want imo .

      (Quote)

  42. The silence on the transfer front is deafening . I suspect two out ,Tiote to Chelsea and Colo to pool and maybe one or two French little knowns in if we lucky. Would love to be more optomistic but sadly we seem to of turned into a feeder club . Just feel it’s so short sighted to let our top players leave as if we added to them with more gems like Cabaye ,TIOTE and the like we could really push on . I just feel he wants to make his cash back and sale up and if that’s the case i hope he does it and goes asap. Of course i could be wrong and really hope i am, but i wish just once he (Ash) would come out and tell us what his plans for the club are long term.

      (Quote)

  43. Personally dont give a shte if Ba Tiote or anyone leaves if they dont love the toon they can f**k off ,the person we dont want to lose appears to be Carr however how long can you keep unearthing diamonds ? Or more to the point what happens when the big clubs come in for our little french spy i’m sure his transfer clause will not be extortinate !!!!!!

      (Quote)

  44. [email protected] – I get what your saying but in truth there arn’t many players that play for the love of the club anymore.When they leave to go elswhere it’s not because they love the club they are going to anymore it’s cause the cash cow lives there. Carroll never went to Pool cause he thought wow what an honor to play at Pool ,he went for the £80grand a week wage or whatever it is., and he’s a local lad. No, the days of players doing it for the club are mostly long gone save for a few diehards like .I do have a bit of faith left though ,i think Saylor would die for the toon .

      (Quote)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green