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Will Newcastle’s Latest Coup Deliver the goods?

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Today brought the news that Graham Carr, life-long Newcastle supporter, had been handed a bumper new contract by the club, which will see him remain in his role as head-scout for another eight years. Contracts of such length are almost un-heard of in the world of sport, which delivers a message of great faith and belief in Carr’s ability, as well as spreading a message of continuity about the football club.

Carr has undoubtedly played a huge role in Newcastle’s recent success in the transfer market, uncovering numerous players in the last two seasons, since he joined the club in February 2010. Players like Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cayabe and Sylvain Marveaux  joined from the French league, and Cheick Tiote and Papiss Cisse followed suit from other European leagues.

These captures provided a fascinating insight into the ever changing transfer policy which Newcastle have began creating, moving away from the signings of English players such as Alan Smith, Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan and prospering in the foreign markets. Newcastle’s managing director Derek Llambias had this to say on the news earlier today : ‘He (Graham Carr) has been instrumental in helping us bring in some truly exceptional players. He has deservedly built a reputation as one of the best in the business.’ High praise, and truly deserved for the man who has had previous spells at Tottenham and Manchester City.

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However, is there a negative outlook on today’s news? Carr will now be working at the club until well into his seventies, and the role he fills is an extremely taxing one, requiring him to travel all over the world looking for talent. Also, a large proportion of his role depends on the manager in charge at the club, who could possibly want more control over transfers, whereas Alan Pardew seems content to allow Carr a great deal of power over the dealings coming into the club. Will both Pardew and Carr be there in 8 years? It seems highly unlikely that they both will, given the ever changing world of football, but the message his new contract sends out is certainly a positive one.

So what now for Newcastle? They’ve already pounced for Romain Amalfitano, another star from the French leagues, who will join at the end of his contract at the beginning of next month. The Toon have also been heavily linked with Chad international Hassan Hissein, but face competition from Liverpool for his signature. There is a constant steam of speculation that Newcastle will also struggle to keep hold of their stars of last season. Ferguson chasing Tiote? Cayabe lined up as a shock target for Wenger’s Arsenal? They have allowed Guthrie, Lovenkrands and Smith to depart, and Leon Best looks set to follow suit with Celtic again sniffing around, but Carr’s role would come under greater importance if last season’s stars moved away to bigger and better things. Can he again deliver? Newcastle clearly think so, and his track record would suggest so, so watch this space as far as the Magpies are concerned in the transfer market.

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