Now that Graham Carr’s time at Newcastle United has officially come to an end, it may be worth having a quick look at his record in the transfer market.
Much has been said in the past about how he has found the club numerous brilliant players and attracted many players to the club that can make Newcastle/Mike Ashley (delete as appropriate) untold millions in profit from their future sales.
That was the argument from the press in years gone by and it seems to have been written into history by Lee Charnley, however the fans won’t see it that way.
“He can count some of Newcastle’s most successful players in recent years as his ‘finds’.” Lee Charnley.
Put simply, his role as scout has actually been a bit of a disaster when you scrape the surface and delve into his transfers.
We can all point out that the managers he has scouted players for were hardly the most adept coaches and that certainly would be a good case for Mr Carr’s own defence, but it still stands, that his transfers have actually cost the club in terms of development and progression. The millions of pounds worth of profit that Mike Ashley dreamed would be coming his way, hasn’t come to fruition.
Let’s look at this list of main players that to my knowledge Carr was responsible for:
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – Proved too lightweight for the Premier League. Cost £8m+, sold for £6m.
Mathieu Debuchy – A £6m signing looking good going forward but poor defensively. Poor after best mate Cabaye was sold. Sold for £12m.
Chancel Mbemba – Not fancied by Rafa Benitez, unused for much of 2016/17 and cost £10m. May do better in Premier League.
Vurnon Anita – A trier but too lightweight for the Premier League. Signed at £6m+, let go for free.
Moussa Sissoko – Started well but after a handful of good games did nothing. Bargain initially at £1.5m, bizarrely sold for £30m.
Henri Saivet – Cost £1m+ per game he played in (4).
Cheick Tiote – Tough tackler and a bargain at £4m. Looked good next to Yohan Cabaye, didn’t do quite as well after his departure. Let go for nothing.
Yoan Gouffran – A trier, scoring a few goals, but hardly prolific at Premier League level. Looked decent in the Championship.
Hatem Ben Arfa – Erratic temperament, not a team player. Moments of class but too infrequent. £5m buy, let go for nothing,
Gini Wijnaldum– Two game a season wonder, went missing most of the time. Signed for £14m, sold for £24m.
Siem De Jong – Perma crock, doesn’t look suited to Premier League. £6m signing.
Yohan Cabaye – Undoubted class, went on strike to force a move. Bought for £5m sold for £20m
Sylvain Marveaux – The lesser spotted Frenchman. Signed for nothing, sold for nothing.
Remy Cabella – Unsuited to Premier League football, signed for £8m+, sold for £6m .
Florian Thauvin – Unsuited to Premier League football, signed at £15m, sold for £10m.
Papiss Cisse – Initially a sensation, scoring a hatful of goals. Faded badly after first year. Signed for £9m, sold for £2m.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – Erratic ability and temperament. Cult figure. £12m signing.
Demba Ba- See Papiss Cisse. Signed for free, sold for £7m+.
Emanuel Riviere – Unsuited to Premier League football. Signed for £6m.
So out of that lengthy list, the success stories on the pitch were Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba, with Cabaye, Ba, Wijnaldum, Debuchy and Sissoko proving to be highly profitable on resale. However, as a body of work costing over £100m, the turn of profit hasn’t materialised and in most cases COST the club multi millions of pounds.
One could argue that if the club had appointed a better manager to bring these players on, Graham Carr’s record would probably look a little better.
Or if the club had gone out and paid the going rate for the first choice target, rather than skimp on finances and go for the second and third choice, the abysmal record of the scout would again be a bit more positive.
Either way, the good news coming out of Carr’s departure is that Rafa Benitez seems to be reaffirmed as in complete control of all transfer matters, despite what the doom and gloom merchants may say.
The next step could be a big one for Mike Ashley. The other elephant in the room is Lee Charnley, who can’t be classed as a top level Managing Director. Over the last ten years, Ashley has overseen/caused some horrendous catastrophes at the club and not hiring a top level MD is one of his biggest problems – remember Derek Llambias?
The club is slowly growing out of the shell Mike Ashley has put it in and the positive steps continue…Rafa Benitez, no more W***a, the removal of an underperforming Chief Scout – are all signs of this.
Long may it continue.
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])