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Juggling jelly with one hand tied behind your back

5 years ago

Remember not so long ago when we were fifth in the table. Flying high with the little gem Yohan Cabaye supplying the sublime balls for Demba Ba and Cisse to bang them in.

Back then I thought who are these players?  Where did they come from? Our scouting system is amazing!  We’ve paid hardly any money for these players and they are world beaters.

Fast forward 5 years….

The chief scout Graham Carr (pictured above)has been promoted to the board.  He is now almost untouchable.  He decides who comes in or out. He decides which players come and go, not the manager.

Now, if this was say Spurs or Man City where their transfer policy was working and they were competing for the league and European competitions then fair enough.

But we are not, we are in a relegation battle every year and any regardless of which hapless clown we have trying to manage us, the manager can only work with the tools he is given (tools being the operative word…).

I have very little sympathy with Pardew, Carver or McClaren, I don’t think any of them were good enough.

However, I do feel that it must be like trying to juggle jelly with one hand tied behind your back when you have ‘the board’ dictating which players you can sign/sell.  Like I say, in a successful club the role of a Director of Football can often work if done properly. Our problem is we are not successful and everything we do is embarrassingly amateurish.

Let’s just have a look at who we have on our books signed by Graham Carr and see if you think he has done a good job.

Does he warrant the vast amounts of money he is paid, the all-inclusive jaunts around Europe and the seat on the board of Newcastle United?

In fact no, let’s not… There’s no point in me going over old ground.

We know how rubbish Marveaux and Gouffran are. We know the whole Cabella/Thauvin thing is a joke of epic proportions. We know that we were crying out for a goal scorer and defenders in January so we bought half a dozen average midfielders.  We know all this, we aren’t stupid.

What is strange though, is how it keeps on happening and why Ashley or Charnley (don’t get me started on that little mug) seem to think that he is doing a good job and reward his failure. How is Graham Carr still in a job?

Now to be fair, I don’t know how hard it is to be a scout? I presume it can be a very hard and draining job at time.  Spending a lot of time away from your family, traipsing all over Europe staying in filthy hotels to watch an Under 18 French lad in the rain.  Having to report back and write lengthy reports, contacting agents and trying to drive a hard bargain, sometimes winning, sometimes losing…

Or… you could just ring up a football agency called I don’t know, let’s just pluck one out of the air… Mondial Sport Management. Let’s go with them.

Mondial Sport are, in case you didn’t know, the agents for Riviere, Sissoko, Cabaye, Thauvin, Ben Arfa, Debuchy, Cabella, Saivet, Mitrovic… etc etc.  Can you see where I’m going with this? I wonder if we have a direct debit set up with them? Buy one get one free I wonder?

Now apart from a couple of exceptions, that is a pretty big pile of overpriced, overrated pap if you ask me.  All pretty average at best, all with big reputations. All either rubbish, moved on, or both.  This is from an agency that also has Matic, Coutihno, Fernandihno, Mahrez, Payet, Zouma on their books… So how come we end up with the dregs?

I’m not entirely sure what goes on at these meetings but this is how I imagine things to take place…

Graham Carr (or associate) flies business class to Nice (upgrade courtesy of NUFC). Limo to his hotel. Freshens up in his suite, slaps on a nice bit of Joop. Meets his agent mate Pierre, has a couple of ice cold beers (courtesy of NUFC) in the hotel bar, moves on to the restaurant to talk “business”.

Over a bottle of Chablis and a nice Lobster Thermidor (courtesy of NUFC) they talk food, weather, politics, hot babes. They get the bill, pay for it on the company credit card and go back to the hotel for a sauna.

Next day agent sends him a text with a link to Henri Saivet’s best bits on YouTube and Graham Carr texts back saying “LOL, aye that will do (smiley face emoji).”

Graham Carr then flies back to Newcastle loaded up with duty frees and reports to the club saying it’s been a success and we’ve just signed the next best thing since Marveaux. Happy Days!!

Obviously all of the above is tongue in cheek but it does make you wonder…

Unfortunately though, it’s just another example of how the club is getting things wrong in every department, time and time again and never learning from their mistakes.

The system is broken, it doesn’t work, but will it ever change when it’s jobs for the boys? I think not unfortunately.

Until Mike Ashley rips up his blueprint and starts again, then I can’t see any light at the end of the chunnel.

You can follow Martin on Twitter @MartinPayne17



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